Image by Federico Tak from Pixabay


Are you sick, she asked? He smiled at her true face.
Laid off, he said, lightly shaping a new face.

Spring kisses cherry trees and hollow streets.
The city stares down germs with its cruel face.

Nights stay cold. The air’s almost hard.
It cracks on skin—a cliff’s coarse-hewn face.

Newspapers—few left—scratch on pavement.
The rasp of a razor on an unlubed face.

She’s looking out an old window, waiting
to restore her shattered, unglued face.

Clean hands everywhere. Empty seats
Marked by pointless loud words. He’s blue in the face.

Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Starting from Tu Fu was just published by Encircle Publications. A new collection is due out in December from Cherry Grove.He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian Joan Juster, where he made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, like everyone else, he’s unemployed. He has published two novels and three chapbooks and two full length collections so far. Titles on request.A meager online presence can be found at 

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