Two Poems by D. E. Oprava


Tomor­row he’ll be back at work clean­ing rigs
on a truck-stop tar­mac off high­way forty-one, suck­ing
up diesel and putting more sweat, less love
in the hub caps that need to gleam brighter
than a south­ern sun. He’s had his eye on a girl
work­ing in the din­er, Melis­sa smiles out through
the plate-glass win­dow as he hums a tune every
man here seems to know and at night
he’ll be on the porch play­ing gui­tar lis­ten­ing
to cicadas ring as oth­ers inside sing, music
seems to come from the very air in this place,
and he grins.

Get­ting off the black­top for a break she winks
at him, her smile sweet as a Vidalia you can
eat raw like an apple, he grabs the near­est table
and pon­ders the peach or pecan pie with a glass
of orange coke to wash the choke of dust and exhaust
from his mind some­times lost to the heat and the fierce
rever­ie he feels for home.


Leav­ing a home
where she knows every­one
and they know her, it's the last
day the daugh­ter
of the restau­rant own­er
has to mop the floor,
the place down­town,
ser­vice with a smile is always required
over ice cream sun­daes
or thick cheese­burg­ers,
he’s a slick man
who built his busi­ness round
the Sun­day morn­ing church-going
crowd, come eleven o’clock every-
thing’s clean and right for the bib­li­cal
flood of hun­gry and pious ready
with con­science-clean-slates
to dig in to sin all over again,
a cou­ple in the cor­ner eye food
just land­ed on their table­top,
they stop, clasp hands close over
the chili-cheese dogs, and pray.

D.E. Opra­va writes, because he has to. He is ter­ri­fied of what will hap­pen oth­er­wise. It makes him pro­lif­ic. He has been in over eighty jour­nals online and in print and his first full-length book of poems VS. was released in Octo­ber 2008 by Erbac­ce Press. He is also the found­ing edi­tor of the small poet­ry and prose press, Griev­ous Jones. When he isn’t writ­ing he is bat­tling against his rag­ing sobri­ety and try­ing to live up to the high moral expec­ta­tions of hus­band­hood, father­hood, and human­hood. Not nec­es­sar­i­ly in that order and not nec­es­sar­i­ly succeeding.

You can find him at www​.deo​pra​va​.com

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