Justin Lacour

THE POSSUM

 

You are hard-boiled, possum. Not fooled by the Spanish prisoner, nor prone to self-parody, as at an office party. You are hair and teeth and claws sunk into the bones of the tree. Green chemical flash in your eyes. May possum open the throat of whoever is your enemy. I will cheer. It’s after midnight in a too-early spring with garbage in the streets. We’re both out alone. But I’m not standing under the dark branches to say we’re alike. I’m not saying we’re both losers or qualify as scrappy because you outsmart cars and dogs and one time a kid sat on my chest while another kid punched me in the face. I’m not saying we both wake to a darkness and go to bed each night knowing we’ll wake to the same darkness the next day. I’m not saying that. You should always fill your landscape with brains and hearts and lungs. Yet anytime I speak it’s like when I was young and reading off-brand porn, and guys would send in photos of their girlfriends posing, trying to look edgy, but their faces really said Is this what you want? Is this what you want? I will not pretend any longer. I will say that I was walking home from a bar and I saw a possum, and we both stopped and locked eyes and were both surrounded by a cloud of unknowing.
 

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JUSTIN LACOUR lives in New Orleans. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from Natural Bridge, Bayou Magazine, New Orleans Review (Web Features), and Susan /The Journal.
 
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Read more by Justin Lacour:

 
Three poems in the New Orleans Review
Poem in Susan /The Journal
 

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