Two Poems by John Stupp


it hits me
the last time
I saw my dad
he was in a cardboard box
at a crematorium
in Colorado
cold as porcelain
before the conveyor moved
I was too late
outside the day was sunny
and everywhere
the smell of autumn peppers roasting
with him
in the high country
on the way home
I carried
in my pocket
80 years of ashes
in a sandwich bag
like a dusty stranger
through airport screening
in Denver
past the blinking heart
of a security machine
who dutifully
what was left
of his life
and what was left
of me

How They Brought the Good News from Ambridge to Pittsburgh

He said to her
in the words
of a poet
put your tongue in me
and we will sing
so they did
in loud voice
sharing a bottle
of wine
from Ambridge
to Pittsburgh
on the early morning
Port Authority bus
nearly empty
its gears
in the dark—
oh stop that song
oh stop that song
it seemed to say
the brakes
every stoplight—
the driver
coming to the end
of her shift
swayed back
and forth
as the two singers
now drunk
entered the city
arm in arm
that was asleep
and dreaming
even now

about the author:

John Stupp is the author of the 2007 Main Street Rag chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend (also by Main Street Rag).  He has lived and worked in various states as a jazz musician, university instructor, taxi driver, radio news writer, waiter, and paralegal. He currently lives outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.