A poem should be sharp enough
to knife me.
But never have it all figured out.
Piss-smelling rat-hole apartments
are its ideal breeding ground.
And paranoia ought to be its goal.
A poem should have the sound
of a door opening
and the uncertainty of a step into the dark.
Its words should walk toward the reader.
That is, until they change their minds and run.
A poem has to stare down its author in the mirror,
agree to disagree on who boasts the foot-long scar.
Seeing how its gone to all this trouble,
it must take its toll.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. A regular Dodging The Rain contributor, John is recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Hollins Critic. His latest books, Leaves On Pages and Memory Outside The Head, are available through Amazon. His work is forthcoming from Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.