Scare Quotes

by gm

Matthew Tierney


Don’t I know
a pocket square can be misplaced,
pinstripes the wrong colour—
if tungsten angst is even a colour.

Three Halloweens in a row
I went as the life of the party.
At home I’ve got every light on timer.
Twice a day the lampshades sing hosanna
and then don’t I know
to feed my bearded dragon.

‘Believe it!’ says the milk carton.
‘Cancer will be beaten in our lifetime.’
It’s been saying that
for as long as I can remember.

At my high school reunion
don’t I know
the difference between being
the smartest guy in the room, in leather pants,
and the smartest guy in the room in leather pants.

Beware the personal salutation
that falls under the rubric RE: AUDIT.
Beware the tchick after your surname
from the doc frowning at your chart.

Down the street, in the dark,
my house lit up like a close encounter.