On Prospect Avenue, Newark, DE by Andrew Graney

One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” — Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

I just think motherfuckers wanna laugh.” — Harris Wittels, Comedy Bang! Bang!


Here you are, in your doorway, saying Andrew! saying a shot of vodka? Yes. I hate vodka. I don’t care. I’ll chase it with a joke. Your laughter—rushing down my spine—a gust of wind waking up a sleeping stream at White Clay Creek. Your I hate you an endearment, a breath on cupped hands.

I feel no need—when I’m with you—to scratch my scars or smoke a cigarette. Always feeding the multitude, you make Time stop on its heels, stunned by the speed at which you heal.


I’m stumble-drunk. You hand me a glass of water, a pillow, blanket. Here you go, buddy. Buddy. A punch in my gut. The echo in my ears as I fall asleep. The y that dips below the rest. Below consciousness, the ocean’s floor. The y that knows the answer but can’t quit raising its question. Why I end my nights with Camus, Rolling Rocks, and Comedy Bang! Bang!, cracking up—like winter skin.


You give me water, pillow, blanket. I didn’t ask for any of it.

Andrew Graney received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, and he is currently is a student in Seattle Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program. He has poems at Philadelphia Stories, Kenning Journal, Right Hand Pointing, as well as other publications.