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Poetry by Paul Hostovsky 

Paul's latest book is Dear Truth (published by Main Street Tag).  He works as an interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Visit his site.




© 2010 Paul Hostovsky




The Fights


I like to watch people fight.

Especially couples. Especially

loving couples. I think it must be

spite. I fought a lot with my first wife,

and my second wife, too. And now

me and my girlfriend whom I love a lot

fight a lot. I think it must be me.

Then I see other couples fight and I feel

better. Do you think that’s perverse?

Do you think I’m a pervert like my

first wife said? I do have a prurient

bent. I sometimes incline towards pure

prurience. Things can really spiral

when I get the itch. Then all I see is skin.

Skin before my eyes, skin under my

nose, skin in the red light district behind

my vanishing hairline. Then all I want to do

is scratch. My first wife and I

fought about that a lot. My second wife

had a prurient bent too, so we saw eye to eye

on that. But we fought about everything else.

Now I see other couples fight and I feel

better about myself. In fact, I feel so good

about myself, I sometimes find myself thinking:

Look at the two of them fighting. He obviously

doesn’t understand her. She ought to be with me.

I understand her. I would take her hand in mine,

lift it above her head in the manner

of prizefighters and referees, pronounce her

understood in the world.






Suicidal Ideation


It wasn’t that he wanted to take his life.

He wanted to take his death

into his own hands. There was

a difference, he knew, though he couldn’t

articulate it. More speculative than suicidal,

more curious than depressed,

more interested than not,

he didn’t want to talk to a therapist.

He wanted to talk to Walt Whitman.

He wanted to talk to his best friend from

kindergarten, who’d moved away

on the cusp of first grade, and he never

saw him again. He wanted to climb a tree

and sit up there all alone in the top branches

watching it absorb the carbon dioxide.

He had a bit of the tree in him himself.

He had similar aspirations

and spent much of his time in the branching

ramifications in his head. But because his children

would never be able to live it down, he climbed

down from the tree in the car in the garage

every time, and walked back into his life with a few

leaves and twigs still sticking to his head.







All work is property of Paul Hostovsky.




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