I fail like a slogan. A frozen can of soda
that cracks the pop-top, thaws and whispers
it’s carbonation. Flat as cold,
I wander the sidewalks of suburbia,
look through windows, see the unuttered invitation
of furniture. If only there was a message
in the envelope addressed to me.
It arrives with no return address.
The wind doesn’t yell or even sigh.
No leaves to shake in the trees.
A culvert runs under the road,
too small to fit through.
The teeter-tooter of chemical imbalance
won’t shift its weight. Hibernation
a dreamless sleep,
I grant myself custody of my aloneness.
Doug Van Hooser’s poetry has appeared in Chariton Review, Split Rock Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Bending Genres Journal. Doug is a playwright active at Three Cat Productions and Chicago Dramatists Theatre.