Sharing the Stage

it’s a man’s world of
unzip dangle and no-contact
elevator eyes, of drain and
scowl and maybe rinse,
roll-up towels and sleeves
germ runways ready
for take-off

in this world my
wayward peripheral quick
double-takes a man
post-business tucking-in
and buckling up; sinkward-bound
this man is none other than
a Nobel Laureate for Literature,
this writer for the ages having
stained porcelain air with
piss as noble and fragrant
as mine perhaps, our things
taking this same air within
simultaneous seconds,
inward sighs of release
the beginnings and ends
of a conversation

i hurry up and leave Derek
Walcott to his reborn bladder
the men’s room mirror,
and his awaiting audience

today’s writing lesson pen-less
paper-less, word-less,
all of us marking
the same territories between
flushes and the next push
through identified doors

~ Ben Murray

Ben Murray is an Edmonton-based writer whose poetry has appeared in many journals, including Descant, Quills, Grain, Carousel, CV2, The Windsor Review, Event, Queen’s Quarterly and others, as well as CBC and CKUA radio. A debut collection of poetry, What We’re Left With, was released in fall 2007 by Brindle & Glass Publishers.

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