A diabetic man asked me,
with brandy on his breath,
whether I would ever marry
the right woman
as we jostled on an Orange Line
over a frozen Mystic River.
I shrugged my shoulders
and he slipped off his glove,
exposing a gap, a phantom finger
where his skin once tightened
to the touch of slipping on
an engagement ring.
We pulled into the last stop
and prepared to brave a bitter night,
but all I felt in that heated moment
was a bushel of my neurons
firing like popguns within the cutout
of the man’s amputation: too many
morsels of sugar and swigs of liquor
compressed into a black swirl,
a Type 2 bottleneck
like an obese alien convulsing
into a coma at his daughter’s birthday party.
He indulged in an extra large slice
of Dark Matter Chocolate
Because It’s A Dark Delight
the commercial incessantly blares.
The ambulance sped down
an avenue of arteries
like the 911 color splash
whizzing past my Pleasant Street steps.
Keith Gaboury graduated with a M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College in 2013. My poems have appeared in Write From Wrong Online Literary Magazine, Oddball Magazine, Boston Poetry Magazine, and Barely South Review. In 2011, he co-founded a social justice-themed online literary magazine, Words Apart. While spending his days as a preschool teacher, he spends his nights working on a manuscript of science fiction/fantasy-themed poems.
Alisha M. White, Ph.D. is an a/r/tist, teacher educator, and assistant professor at Western Illinois University. Her work revolves around disrupting constructions of ability, integrating arts into her research, and teaching future teachers the potential for using the arts in teaching English language arts.