Three Poems

By Joe B. Grantham



’63 Chevy Impala


I had a brother once.

On the morning of my thirtieth birthday

I looked in the mirror and saw his face

on my face.

That was a first.

He chose to die six days later

halfway across the country

on train tracks arguing, crying,

giving up,

we don’t know for sure.

But the train won.


I wasted no time washing down

leftover pain killers with beer

while trying to get a flight home.


With a broken dad and brothers

we cleaned out the

basement room he rented.  

One box held all his twenty-five years.


He put a 409 in the ’63 Chevy Impala

he drove.

He loved that car.

I found a model of it

in the box

and years later

parked it

on the shelf

in my son’s room.



The Dog


Why is it so easy to cry in the shower?

Is it because we are alone?

Because we’re hidden?


Or is it the ten thousand warm tears

pelting us from the shower head that

relax us into our pain?


I don’t have answers to these questions.

I don’t have answers to a shit load of things.


But tonight I stood in the shower

and cried for my dog.

She gone.





I fix dents in cars.

For thirty years I have made

battered things new.

The other day my son texted me that

he was hitting himself in the face again.


I told him, be careful, for chrissakes.

Don’t go knocking out a tooth

or needing stitches,

’cause you don’t have insurance.


I never asked him why.

Never questioned a punch.

Never told him how I felt

the hurt,

the damage,

the pain.


I’d like to help.

Want to help.


I can’t fix those dents.


Joe B. Grantham lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His fiction has appeared in 34th Parallel, Litro, Faded-Out, poetry in Backlash. He enjoys a well-made Sazerac and Pliny the Younger when available.

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