The year boils down
(the temperature of boiling water
is the area code of Manhattan)
to the same forms.
And I fail, dramatically,
to become new with the year.
Outside, the token trees twinkle.
I sample women’s voices, car alarms.
There are miles to go before I’m drunk.
The shunted New York snow testifies:
I dropped from the revered sky
and wound up more reviled than garbage.
Tonight, like most things
exists only to be squandered.
The bars close all around me.
The big talk ebbs.
And I know I’m not on the way
or even in the way.
On a corner, in a bar,
on a walk and in my bed,
you told me a man could use his intelligence
to make a better life for himself.
And I took that as an insult.
But I can only be so angry.
It’s not just myself I have to put to sleep.
It’s everyone I ever sheltered or used as shelter
under the mantle of “Us.”
One at a time.
Colin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL, and The Last Bad Job. His writing has appeared in numerous publications. His book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2015. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at thecolindodds.com.
Photo credit: dhester, morguefile.com