Two Poems by Justin Hyde

at the harvest cafe

the twenty year old woman
sitting across from me
is stacking
our plates and silverware.

she does this
every restaurant we go to.

she used to be a waitress
and knows how hard they work.

i wipe syrup
off my fork
ask her
what she wants to do
after we go
to iowa city
for her treatment.

i don’t want
to go,
she says
biting her lower lip

somewhere in her

she’s very tired
this morning
bags under her eyes
but you’d never guess
she’s full of

only me
and a couple of her
close friends at college

won’t tell her family

doesn’t want them
to worry.

lets run away
to jamaica
right now,
she says.

anything you want
i say
holding her hand
under the table.


everyone deserves an ear

if nothing else
their inane chatter
will reinforce
the sanction
and vigor
of your
misanthropic outlook

and on rare occasions

like last night

sneaks out
from the
thin human design:

odell was
telling me
about his second wife

said she
took to crack cocaine
the way
most people take to
food and water.

he tried everything

but couldn’t
reason with her.

the string broke
when he came home
from work
and the refrigerator
and oven
were gone.

all you can do
is smack a bitch,
he told me.

i’m not
a proponent
of violence
against women:

but we clanked beer bottles

and i drank

to the

universal concept.

One Response to “Two Poems by Justin Hyde”

  1. Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works with criminals. More of his work can be found here:

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