Nick SoluriNick Soluri is an undergraduate at Union College, studying English. He has poetry in The Slag Review, Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, and Occulum, as well as in Union’s own magazine, The Idol. He lives in North Carolina, and likes to paint, regardless of his lack of canvases.

 

Strip Mall Sign Holder

On the corner near the entrance to a strip mall,
a man holding a sign,
a large arrow pointing east,
“Come see our new low prices!”
in bold white letters.
The man wore a blue hat
with his hood over it,
gray pants, worn out boots, and a small coat.
In my car, an electronic
heater warms both my butt and the steering wheel
so my body and hands never get cold.
He had on very thin gloves worn so often
they’d become fingerless,
and his fingers had become red
from the whipping wind.
I had the radio on, and I listened to
the classic rock station,
ACDC, U2, The Foo Fighters.
His music was the monotonous drone
of a never-ending line of automobiles,
with the sound of horns splattered in his ears
occasionally.
My face smiled and sang along
with the music, my hand slapping the wheel
to the rhythm.
He stood still, with a somber
look about his face, as if
the $20 he was to make by
the end of the day was beginning to
feel inadequate.
I got a text from my girl,
How is your day going?
I thought about the texts he receives,
maybe from his girl,
or from his kid,
and I remembered why he
stands out in the cold like he does,
that whoever he would spend
that $20 on would be
lucky to have his love.

 

Boxing Match

An uppercut, splitting lips
bleeding from inside
red drips from his mouth,
a few punches land
but he is still fighting.
He gets in his own,
a jab, a right cross,
some land, others miss.
Bobbing back and forth,
he tries to dodge the
barrage of pain.

An empty bottle,
cigarette burns on his chest,
cuts on his thighs,
his eyes blistered,
she is alone on the bed
crying.

Just before the end of the round,
he takes a shot to the temple,
all black, lights above,
she shouts from his corner
for him to get back on his feet.

 

Silent Sam, in My Neighborhood

Up in the air
a chandelier swings high.
Toilet paper flies,
chants ring in ears,
swears are tossed around,
like bricks and rocks,
and broken bones.

Put them in a home,
let them die alone,
without recognition or
praise, and pray
for them in darkness.
Go high, not low.

The wind smells new and fresh,
born out of struggle,
no Caesarian,
but labor.