In those nights I remember thinking, “I am young and unafraid”

But now the rain patters against the screen of my window

and the wind howls on

anxiety grips my body: iron-clad and unforgiving

my hands drip sweat

and every unjust deed I’ve committed flashes onto the rolling big screen inside my head

But then I’m taken back to a night when the air was warm

there was no breeze

and her brown hair fell down

while my hands stayed dry

and we kissed beneath the dock

out by a soggy wooden piece of an old shipwreck

Hope gasped momentarily at the thought of us

images of unending laughter and peace danced before me on a stage built of unworldly luck and fortune

Hope gasped at the thought of it all working,

but then Fate smiled gently at Hope and Hope nodded it’s head solemnly,


and Hope turned quietly away

Suddenly, It seemed as if the moon had unopened itself onto the sky and without any announcement

as always, it was time to go

I’d drive home those nights,

screaming out at Father Time and at the fickle finger of fate

gripping the steering wheel of my car so hard that the sharp pink underneath my fingernails suddenly flooded into a pure, unending white

I write now underneath that same moon

though now it’s dripping into a yellowish-red

not unlike the end of a burnt out candle

and I think to myself

“I was young and unafraid.”



Rain comes down hard.

It feels like weeks on end now.

The weather is supposed to break for better,

But it never does.

And yet,

I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Outside a small, community theatre,

Intermission of a show an old friend of mine had directed,

And there we were dashing through the backdrop of the rain to get to a little abandoned doorway that felt like it was made just for us.

Splitting a cigarette with her,

In our own personal enclave.

With a woman

Who so carefully put together my good dreams

And shushed away the bad ones,

Holding my large, unwieldy, sweaty body in her own

How perfectly soothing and soft she’d stroke the hairs that ran down my chest

Just as now

How perfectly the water cascaded down the slanted driveway across the street from us

And as the buses pass by,

Bright red and electric blue laid over top of a modern white

Her whole face would light up to be even brighter,

Her pupils would be so wide and I’d stand across from her

My head cocked to the side,

And in that same head thoughts would be running and running, wondering what word I could use to describe her shade of lipstick

And as I’m staring so intently at those lips they open up.


as if she’s got something just for me and her.

She says, “Maybe the rain will stop during the second act”

During the beat of rest another bus roars by, each tire seeming to individually slap the rain below

“But if it doesn’t, that’d be okay.”

After the second act,

The rain hasn’t stopped.

And I’ll be damned if she wasn’t right:

It was still all okay.

I, The King.


his broken hands reaching towards

coins that rattle weakly inside the plastic change jar he keeps in the center console.

he scoops out enough to buy dinner,

that’s all he’s got left.

working like mad, lifting slabs of concrete and marching them around construction sites.

Endlessly gripping and moving

like some Sisyphean creation being senselessly and eternally punished.

and when he reaches the orange of the cones marking off the construction zone,

he blinks at the bleakness of his fate:

endless labor,

hopeless life,

the possible futility of love,

company profits he’d never receive,

anxiety-ridden nights spent nervously pacing around the apartment complex

it is the world he knows,

and all of her quirks.

He whispers the old Picasso line “I, the king.”

He goes home after work and creates his own art.

suddenly, it is the world he commands,

and all of her beauty.

Adam Gunther is a poet from Bay City, Michigan.