Issue > Poetry
Tom Laverty

Tom Laverty

Tom Laverty was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. His work his appeared in Unsaid, and is forthcoming in Passages North.

Stepping Up

The doctor says if I keep drinking my liver will fall out.
A plum in a wheat-field. I thank him for this.

The next time my mother calls I will explain that
leatherback turtles swim thousands of miles to lay their eggs.

Chief among the things I miss are: a pair of shoes
I bought in Paris, a small framed picture of an owl,

a wristwatch whose hands turn backwards.
These are all in a box.

I have kept a log with the smell of each of my
lover's necks and given them names like windy and Gloria.

All I have learned about being in love is that a man
who stands with his hands in his pockets is not.

I believe that the doctor meets me in a room
removed from his office because the pain

of words dries and crackles over time.
Every week the city takes my refuse from the curb

in an attempt to relieve me of it, but every week
I am left alone in the cleanliness of my kitchen.

The doctor has finished and left the room. An angel
has left with him. I'll call her Gloria.

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