Rp Verlaine

Life Spans

The tarantula 
scurries ahead of 
the stick. A natural 
predator like his master, 
who keeps it in a cage 
safeguarding a nine. 
The tarantula’s 
a Brazilian black, 
able to live 15 to 
20 years. 3 times 
the lifespan 
of a dealer 
on the streets or 
so its master reckons 
from what he’s seen. 
The tarantula 
tries to climb the stick  
like a shadow, acrobatic 
enough to dare light 
to a slow dance 
the stick wins 
the insect falls 
and its master laughs. 
Taking the nine, 
putting it inside his pants 
after securing the cage 
and tossing it a 
cricket that 
will not live long, 
he laughs knowing maybe 
neither will he.

We Toss A Frisbee 

for me to connect 
with my new girlfriend’s 
child, but I keep 
throwing it over  
her head as she 
jumps, but 
catches only air 
saying aaaarrrraafth 
then running after 
the frisbee. Yes, 
life is unfair, 
unkind, or random as  
paper cuts or  
spilled hot coffee, 
missed trains, or buses 
and stolen moments 
no one wants  
that we still 
get to keep... 
tough life lessons  
for a six-year-old. 

Rp Verlaine, a retired English teacher living in New York City, has an MFA in creative writing from City College. He has several collections of poetry including Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018) and Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 (2018-2020).
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