Old Match || Derek Graf

Tampa sleeps beneath an interstate
with a fifth of vodka in its roughed-up

hand after another long night getting lit.
In any case, you switch hornets with bats

and realize with forgot, turns out it makes
a huge difference. Tampa throws

potted plants out the window
of a pawn shop and won’t stop

without a good reason. You believe
you’re alone, running from bridge

to bridge without notice. No one thinks
you’re very smart once they boil you down

to a small country of gnats. Tampa films
a documentary without any problems.

It’s about the drainage ditch, the warm
trash, and the fast excuses you drum up

so easily these days. Tampa sends you
a text with its last words, but forgets

the hard truth that dreams don’t sing.


Derek Graf‘s poems have appeared in The Monarch Review, Portland Review, The Boiler, and elsewhere. He lives in Kansas City.


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