I lose the insomnia contest.
Someone stays awake the longest
who looks like but is not yours
truly. In a drawing contest I draw despair
as walls of black windows, hollow space.
Crossing the street I step up my pace
in the contest to see who leaves wins.
I stay on the street abandoned,
not wondering where did they go,
only mesmerized by the dark hollows
that were windows people looked out.
The next contest, to see who’s proud.
Yet I’m fixated on the empty street,
abandoned tenements, summer heat.
Peter Mladinic’s poems have recently appeared in Neologism, the Mark, the Magnolia Review, Ariel Chart, Bluepepper, and other online journals. He lives, with six dogs, in Hobbs, New Mexico.
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