The Salt of Our Bodies is the Salt of Our Rhymes and other poems by Steve Passey

In the salt of our bodies
Is the salt of our rhymes
It comes out of us hard
It comes out in our speech

This depression is not like the last one
No one has holes in their shoes
No one goes hungry
But it will never end
This is how things will always be

We are made small
Everything declines
You are very beautiful
But your lips are become thin
And you save your kindness for strangers

Don’t watch TV you say
It just tells us about things we can’t have
But we keep it on
Because the background noise
Sounds like conversation

There is an old man on the sidewalk
Just standing there
He has forgotten where he was going
He’s just in our way
While we carry the dog into the shelter
Telling them we can’t afford him anymore
Same as everyone else

He’ll be put down in a week
The man will be moved into a home
We will wake up tomorrow
Tomorrow will be just like today
With the salt of our bodies
The salt of our rhymes

Only Cold

Minus thirty-four degrees Celsius
With the wind chill, and
I am only cold, but
I imagine that I miss
The warmth of your body, and
The grace of your presence
Like that old adage
About dogs being wolves
Who traded their souls
For a warm place by the fire
I would trade what I have
To lie at your hearth
I am only cold but
I am
Tired of being cold
Back on the farm
The old barn-cats
One-eyed, tattered rags for ears
They too, tire of being cold
It is always cold, and
I think it strange
How a man most misses
What he has never had, and
Maybe the thing,
The thing we have never had
Draws us down, and
Tames us
So that we too,
Can lie by the fire.


We light it up and blaze away
Imagining a thousand moments, or
Even just one moment
Better than what we had today
She goes into the bathroom
Leaving the door slightly ajar
I hear her pissing and
She yawns mid-stream
I laugh out loud at that
She hears me and knows, so
She laughs out loud too

That’s one moment.

Tomorrow we’ll get drive-through coffee, then
Go in comfortable silence to our hours
Just hours,
Because we don’t get enough of them
To be called jobs
We need the hours for weed, and
To stay just a little behind on rent

But know this:

I swear we had the same dream one night at the exact same time where we lived in Arizona in a trailer purchased cheaply out of foreclosure and we sat on our porch with our guns across our laps and our pit bulls at our sides drinking cold beer and smoking a perfect blend with the constellations high above us and I had her name tattooed on my neck and I knew I knew I knew I had made the right call and everything was going to be alright alright alright.

About the author:

Steve Passey is from Southern Alberta. His fiction and poetry have been published in Canada, the UK, and the USA in journals and anthologies including Existere Journal, Big Pulp, Bull: Men’s Fiction, and many others. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction.

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