poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “conversation”

along the railroad tracks


what shall we talk about
of course nothing is an option
but there must be something
you’d wish to discuss
an object & a subject perhaps
such as a damsel in distress


there’s the recent death of Albert
but that’s a private matter
and sweet Josephine is out the question
for she is alive & quite well
endlessing walking the shoreline
throwing sticks & picking up stones


if it’s a fantasy that suits you
please return from the one since birth
twisting & turning your own fate
into a tragic or comedic poem
here I am beginning to recall
where you left off the last time

july two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a conversation that wasn’t

sitting in the natural light in
an outside cafe
one warm spring day
I cross my legs
exposing their whiteness

an elderly woman asks
if this seat is taken
and I shake my head and stretch
out my darkened arm
palm open toward the metal chair
across from me

I remove my satchel from my shoulder
and place it under the table
sliding it further with my foot

we hold a pleasant and somewhat
intelligent conversation
she drinking sweet hibiscus tea
and me a double espresso

I told her I was from the third world
and she nodded and laughed
saying she was from the old one

I went on to confess I shave my legs
but seldom my face
and she smiled and said
she did just the opposite

she listened to every single word I said
even the ones spoken in another language
attempting to give clarity to my predicament

I went on to say I don’t believe
I belong here
that I was thinking of checking out for good

If you don’t mind she responded
please give me a head start
and I’ll be on my way
before you take me with you

april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

making conversation

what’s your favorite song
I asked her
as we sat atop the bluff
overlooking the mississippi river
the white sails below looking like
a paint-by-number watercolor

she took a sip of her arnie palmer
and lowered her sunglasses
exposing sinister eyes
straight into mine
then pushed them back
and returned to her sunbathing

what was that look for
I asked her
picking up a rock and rubbing it
with my thumb and fingers

you know what my favorite song is
you silly man
she whispered above the happy birds
why don’t you go ahead
and sing it for me

august two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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