Steven D. Schroeder


boy meets girl
waiting in line
to take a number
to get on the list

boy loses girl
at the test site
in a holding cell
all in yr head

boy finds girl
if this statement
is true-ish & a lie
is where you are

boy is phone trace
& satellite photo
& heat signature

girl is twig askew
or trail off cliff
or birdsong still

I am investigators
close the streets
this close to you

are you


yr cure is no
way to treat me

my pain rates
on a scale of 1
thru waiting room

X-ray & MRI
are no way to ID
required for entry

anesthesia is
no way to please
provide insurance

crack yr window
between 10 & 2
some Tuesdays

automate yr door
I trade kidneys for
what’s behind

euthanasia is
no way out of this
is not an exit


Steven D. Schroeder‘s second book, The Royal Nonesuch (Spark Wheel Press, 2013), won the 2014 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is recently available or forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, The Laurel Review, and Four Way Review. He serves as a board member and contributing editor for River Styx and works as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.