“Aftermath” by John Wesick


Empty bottles everywhere – on the counter, the desk, on the bookshelf by the DSM-IV.
They surround congealed bean dip studded with shards of nachos.

Cigarette butts smudged with red lipstick.
Gnawed chicken wings on grease-stained
napkins. Soiled underwear on the door knob.
The used condom under the bed oozes
like a gutted squid. The smell of stale beer.

Empties rattle on the way to the dumpster.
One falls from the garbage bag and bursts on the sidewalk. A dirty look from between the neighbor’s blinds.

Dry Cheerios, the last of the orange juice.
An apologetic phone call to the boss.
No work today, only Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Metal bangs and broken glass tinkles
from the parking lot where a garbage truck labors.
The sun staggers through the sweltering afternoon.
Safe in the shade of drawn curtains, a clock counts down toward happy hour.



John Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics, has practiced Buddhism for over twenty years, and has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as Pearl, Pudding, Slipstream, American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Man’s Rainbow, Ceremony, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, The Magee Park Anthology, The New Verse News, Poesia, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Sunken Lines, Tidepools, Zillah, and others.