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from the comedown


In this, my 40th year
driving long distances should be
considered exercise

Looking at you, your faces, your eyes
closed is my relief
which is creepy
Me staring at strangers
the strangers not knowing
or maybe they do
I don’t deserve
such relief


I’m jealous
of other people’s

Their recovery

I look at my wife and think
I want you
but I’m scared
I want you I want you I want you
and so lie here un-
approachable, my face
in a book


Uptight in the moment
Regretful after

A step across
a darkened threshold


from the comedown


Vanity and self centeredness

Behind all this
vanity and self centeredness is a need
for love

A simple human
need for love

I struggle
to express

Have failed
to satisfy

Failed to make myself

vulnerable enough
to satisfy








Justin Marks’ books are, You’re Going to Miss Me When You’re Bored, (Barrelhouse Books, 2014) and A Million in Prizes (New Issues, 2009). His latest chapbook is We Used to Have Parties (Dikembe Press, 2014). He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and lives in Queens, NY with his wife and their twin son and daughter.