Click Page 41

Poetry of Issue #8        Page 41

Conversation Stopper

“Who the fuck you think you talkin’ to?”

I’m standing at my locker at the gym,
reaching in for the other towel,
having just showered.
I glance over at the man on the bench
fifteen feet to my left.
He’s talking into a cellphone.

“I am going to end your life when I see you,”
he threatens the person on the phone,
and then he clarifies
after that person probably said what?

“I said, I am going to end your existence
when I see you.”
Then he clicks his phone off,
stares into his opened locker,
a big black guy, in his late twenties, I judge.

This part of the locker room
has suddenly gone quiet.
No more discussion of the big game tomorrow
between the Ravens and the Bills.

When I put on my coat and close my locker,
the guy is still sitting half-clothed on the bench.
I’m hoping this is just hyperbole,
and I won’t be reading about it in the newspaper.

Charles Rammelkamp