Don't Walk, Jeremy Nathan Marks

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Originally published in Morel Magazine

We drink from lidless cups on our break 
the pavement wet from the rain 

Three cigarettes for him in fifteen minutes 

but I simply take coffee
reminded of all of the reasons this beverage 

is bad for me he doesn’t care at all 

not about that hacking cough
that makes his barrel chest bellow
not about the fact that he started when he was eight 

Who says we’re gonna live long lives?
Who says but my doctor I gotta quit?
Think I’m going to be doing this shit to the grave? 
He laughs, yeah, I do 

From where we’re standing I see London Place
that old crone in the clouds
there’s an office up there where they hold my mortgage 

its blue glass dripping a dismal grey
not me, I say
and look at three men
old, older, oldest leaning against the loading dock door 

They’re like a covey, a set of marks
on the corner the sign says Don’t Walk. 

Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in KYSO Flash, Cajun Mutt Press, Writers Resist, Unlikely Stories, Rat’s Ass Review, NRM Magazine, Poets Reading The News, Eunoia Review, The Conclusion Magazine, Bravearts, The Wire’s Dream, and Poetry Pacific. His short story, “Detroit 2099,” will be published in Stories of the Nature of Cities 2099 later this year. His website can be found here.