In The Dark Café
It grows cold out there.
But I didn’t call, I didn’t call
before I ran away from home.
The large hot tea is sweet and good.
I’ve finished my cake, but hunger
for something more. Young people
smile and smoke, and remind me
I am getting old. Too
old for the insane games
he forced me to play at home.
The small voice inside saying:
be careful be careful.
(He watches my window, and
wants me to know. Five days
in a row, shrill messages at dawn,
until I took the phone off the hook.
Now notes on my door. Red
rage bleeding on every page.)
It seems so much saner here.
Two skeletons play chess.
A homeless girl reads The Catcher In The Rye.
The hot waiter dances,
like a young Travolta.
I glance at a poet and become calm and bold
(he counts his long fingers after every line).
I remember a sonnet I wrote in school:
A disconnected phone can’t make you cringe,
and better locks may keep you safe inside.
Because you failed to give back love to love –
the angry ravens watch you from above.
I am far far from home.
I’ve come to this place to think and mend.
These smiling strangers are my only friends.
My stalker’s at home.
It grows colder outside.
I write this poem instead.
Dylan Mitchell's poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. His most recent book is, 100 Men I Have Slept With (And Other Poems). It is available on Amazon.com. Several of his poems, essays, and book reviews can be had for free online: www.roughpoet.blogspot.com. He lives alone in Portland, Oregon.