Steve Brisendine

Let Them Eat Jake

His faded gray t-shirt reads

but his mouth says he wants
		a Mega Millions quick pick and
		fifteen bucks on Pump Twelve.

I wonder if he'll volunteer to be
	the entrée if his number comes up – 

but then again, he looks like he’s
	already used to being chewed up 

and it’s only the first of the month;
	the big bills don’t hit until Thursday.

Maybe Either, Maybe Both

	I think I had it and never knew it,
he says;

	it didn't seem like much at the time,
	a little twinge in my chest
	and I'd feel like my face was hot
	every once in a while

	but now sometimes I wake up and 
	I can't	breathe.

These days you can't be sure
if he's talking about the virus
or love.

Steve Brisendine is a writer, poet, occasional artist and recovering journalist living and working in Mission, Kansas. His first full-length collection, The Words We Do Not Have (Spartan Press), 2021, has been nominated for the Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award. His poetry has also appeared in Flint Hills Review, As It Ought To Be, Squawk Back, Modern Haiku and other journals and anthologies.
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