The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Stuart Forrest

Modern Diet

 

That morning,
he enjoyed a meal,
eggs, a muffin, preserves, tea,
and hatred, a cluster of hatred.

Out of his house,
into the street,
he killed everyone
who had the wrong face or skin.

At noon,
her midday feast,
savory crepes and sparkling wine,
and a dish of frozen hate.

Holding a sign,
wearing a mask,
she spat and howled,
toward every badge.

At dusk,
he craved sweets,
candies, tart juices, and fruit,
glazed with hate.

In prayer,
in the midst of children,
He exploded,
killed them all.

What is in our food?
What is in our hearts,
that tastes so good,
and pains so much and many?

 

 

Stuart Forrest

One Small House

 

He owned one small house among many.
Each dawn he emerged from his front door
with tools, wood, stain and brush,
and built one small mailbox bearing number and name.

He owned one small house among many.
From across the street you can see
hundreds upon hundreds of empty mailboxes,
never, even once, gifted with a letter.

He owned one small house among many.
Each day he pinned down one of his dreams
in a frame while it still lived,
and hung it on a dark dusty wall.

He owned one small house out of many,
and hundreds upon hundreds of empty mailboxes.
If you could see inside that shuttered house,
you’d see hundreds upon hundreds of mounted dead dreams.

He owned one small house among many.
Every night he placed one prayer in a jar,
along with one, single, hot, shimmering tear,
and place it carefully upon the roof.

He owned one small house among many.
Orange rays danced madly through a thousand jars at sunset,
and shined on hundreds upon hundreds of empty mailboxes,
but no light ever reached his mounted dead dreams.

 

 

 

STUART FORREST was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1951. He is now a retired public servant living in Foster City, California. Two years ago, he developed a passion for creative writing while attending the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program. He enjoys writing poetry and fiction short stories. This is his first publication of poetry.

 

 

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