Benjamin Brindise: “The Homage I Never Paid”

The Homage I Never Paid

he stood on the sidewalk waving
I could just see it above the dash
as you put it in reverse
and backed out of the parking lot
how heavy those next moments must have been
with no directions to consider
no map to unfold, no one
to look out for, only
an empty apartment to walk into
glass bottles singing in the fridge

I have thought about that night
what he must have done, sitting
on the balcony with the Florida sun
reddening his eyes—never the reality
of vomit in the corner of the bathroom
the chill of the linoleum floor

what I never considered
was how much I weighed the car down
how heavy those boxes in the trunk must have been
how many nights you must have spent
with dumb bells tied to your wrists
in preparation for the inevitable

I never gave you credit
for seeing the sky falling on my head
and running toward it, not away
for catching it just in time
for being strong enough
to save the world


Benjamin Brindise is a Teaching Artist at the Just Buffalo Literary Center and published his first chapbook of poetry, Rotten Kid (Ghost City Press), in Spring of 2017. Rotten Kid was featured at the 25th Annual Poets House Showcase in NYC. He will release Those Who Favor Fire, Those Who Pray to Fire (EMP Press) with fellow Buffalo poet Justin Karcher in Spring of 2018.

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