you step on the book that slid off the bed late in the night,
that hit floor with the sound you always imagined
your fist would make on the face
of the black hat cowboy
when you right-crossed him in the saloon,
the peaceful townsfolk silent, on your side.
Every night, the felling of that brute wakes you.
But you switch off the light,
reclose your eyes, drain a sepia whiskey,
keep vivid the dream you are
the man you always meant to be.
Rodd Whelpley is the secret poet in residence at the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, where he also runs an electric efficiency program for 33 cities in the state. His works have been published in such magazines as The Bitchin’ Kitsch, the Chagrin River Review, One Sentence Poems, Aethlon, Allegro Poetry Magazine and Long Dumb Voices. He has work forthcoming in Spillway and Tinderbox Poetry Journal.