Third-String Quarterback of Nineteen Eighty-Five
A gilt-rimmed plate sits on the porch step,
filling up with rain. Listen
to the stories spilling out the door like years
of used mopwater, and you’ll know
who pays no mind to other people’s china.
Charlie Custer. Aunt Virginia’s
boyfriend’s son—all the tact
of a bowling ball, humility in negative
per cents. Where some people grow,
some never change. Charlie began
at seven times the trouble I can stand.