ed. note: When not Shunn-formatted, the title should be capitalized normally save that “ARE” should be all caps.

by Robert Beveridge

The sparrows outside the window
hop back and forth, seek someone
to blame for the half-built nest
repossessed by the mockingbirds.
They stop on occasion to peck
at the breadcrumbs scattered
by the chimp on the bench, briefcase
open next to him. He reads a page
of Baudrillard, redistributes a piece
of bread, reads another page, repeats
until his lunch hour is finished.
The passersby all wear paper plates
with elastic attached, hand-drawn
faces. Mumble behind them of things
we are glad, always, we cannot hear.
Time to go back to the office, while
away another afternoon with Alice
Mutton in your earphones, spreadsheets
full of figures you will someday
understand, you believe, if you stare
at them long enough. Then home
to your half-built nest and its unruly,
obnoxious new roommates.

Identity info:
pronouns: he/him
I identify as QUILTBAG (bi/pan), neurodivergent (anxiety requiring multiple hospitalizations/GAD/SAD/depression/suspected by a number of mental health professionals of being on the autism spectrum but not tested because “the tests are expensive and you’re too old for the treatment methodologies to do anything”), and disabled (arthritis since 1992, now walking with a cane over 90% of the time/chronic bloodborne cellulitis resulting in multiple multi-week hospitalizations/ recent heart attack survivor! [21Jul2019]). [New! Improved! Now officially listed as disabled by the U.S. government as of 3Mar2020!] Now fall into the “older” category (50+). Adopted and entirely unfamiliar with my (birth) family history.

Poet biography:
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Red Coyote Review, Deep South Magazine, and Aromatica Poetica, among others.

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