Two Poemsby Kenneth Pobo
If I decide I must shoot someone,
I hope I’m on a staircase
wearing beautiful clothes
in dim light. I fear guns,
but when I saw Bette Davis
shoot Claude Rains in Deception,
I pictured myself as Bette,
not Claude. In high school
my neighbor, Mr. Saunders,
tried to teach me how
to shoot. We put tin cans up
in a field
that became a golf course.
My aim failed. He said I just
didn’t have it. I didn’t.
If I were on a staircase,
I’d crumble, probably give
Claude the gun and apologize.
In beautiful clothes.
In dim light.
Maybe some dramatic music.
that Bobolinko got caught stealing
was when he was twelve
in the Save-More Food Store.
He put a Butterfingers candy bar
discreetly in his jacket pocket,
the light blue jacket that
his mom said matched his eyes,
walked past the cashier, and almost
out the door which the electric eye
opened. The store’s boss,
Mr. Feeney, ran up behind him
and said he saw what Bobolinko did.
Feeney called his parents. Bobolinko
apologized and took his two-week
grounding with grace. Still,
he craved a Butterfingers,
which his parents wouldn’t buy him
as they worried about cavities.
And the mortgage. And the Buick.
And the broken air conditioner.
Bobolinko cursed his sweet tooth
and wondered if his future
was wanting what he can’t have,
a hunger, something that burns
even when asleep.
Kenneth Pobo is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections. Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), Uneven Steven (Assure Press), Sore Points (Finishing Line Press), Lilac and Sawdust (Meadowlark Press) and Lavender Fire, Lavender Rose (BrickHouse Books). Opening is forthcoming from Rectos Y Versos Editions. Human rights issues, especially as they relate to the LGBTQIA+ community, are also a constant presence in his work. In addition to poetry, he also writes fiction and essays. For the past thirty-plus years he taught at Widener University and retired in 2020.