When You’re Broke and No One Loves You by Cassidy J. Hodges


You never could play guitar,

voice like the disapproving clicking of 27 tongues.

Everything was covered in dirty fingernails and you never slept.

Afraid vultured constellations would pick through your

quiet parts and leave you whittled and witless

in your bed sheets.

You couldn’t remember the names of stars,

night sky an equation you hadn’t learned.

Sat still at 4 way stops,

dreamt of snakes, and emptied bank accounts.

Became the white sneakered clean-up crew

Stacked the chairs and vacuumed the carpets until

Your fingers became brittle clear bags

Holding Bursting unrequited dilemmas.

Tiny things you didn’t know how to recycle

Paperclips, the business end of a cigarette,

a steel pick slide, a perfect note,

The promise that you’d learn how to fly.

Poet and photographer Cassidy J. Hodges is a queer, a nerd, and a teacher in Seattle, Washington. He can usually be found flirting with spicy food and pretending to go jogging. His work is available in The Saltwater Quarterly and Inkspill Magazine.