The Coach’s Last Day

Look at me. Listen.
You were never any good.
I saw it right away.
The way you shuffled your feet
and your eyes drifted nowhere.
What is it I could say you lacked?
Not heart. That’s too simple.
More heart and mind.
That’s a tough thing to accept.
So why am I saying this now?
I could just have cut you,
let you walk and guess why.
Then you’re back to lying awake,
staring at the bedroom curtains
and I’m back to lying.

What could you have done differently?
What are you in the sum of things?
(Don’t take this personally.)
I am the Nothing that gets to tell you.
So you are not good enough to be here.
But don’t let that stop you
from reaching for the stars.
Where are the stars?
In the middle of nothing.
So you can do it.
You just can’t do it here.
Because we have a relationship
based on trust. Like a family.
We’re a big family.
That’s the philosophy I got
from my old neighborhood,
from my parents, gone now. Like you.
Like the kind of family we had
for a while, when it was us
against the world.

The truth is we were the world,
an idea you had to slap a uniform on
to see. But those colors are just part
of a the rainbow. You are the rainbow.
All the colors together
or what’s left
when you take them all away.


Photography © TJ Edson

Photography © TJ Edson


George Guida is the author of eight books, including four collections of poems--Pugilistic (WordTech Editions, 2015), The Sleeping Gulf (Bordighera Press, 2015), New York and Other Lovers (Smalls Books, 2008) and Low Italian (Bordighera, 2006). His poetry and fiction appear in Alimentum, Barrow Street, Harpur Palate, Inkwell, J Journal, Literature and Gender, Perihelion, and other journals and anthologies. He teaches literature and writing at New York City College of Technology, and co-edits 2 Bridges Review.

TJ Edson is the Art Director of Oddball Magazine and a volunteer at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. He has also had work appear recently in Terrarium.