"Flying over Washington, DC on Easter," "Rock Creek Parkway," and "Super Care | Drugs"

Flying over Washington, DC on Easter

There are fewer belts 
waists to shirts
than there are people
holding onto sunlight
watching feet sweep sound
away from them, 
and into the light of faces in the sky;
a child tastes sound 
she sweeps up with her white shoes
from the shadows
and sticks out her tongue
to catch a snowflake in April. But she catches him
wrapped in carpet insulation 
from marble 
looking in the trash
among pink and 
baby blue blazers and 
blouses too
and white footsteps 
beneath blooming leaves;
sunglasses reflect cigarette smoke
held lazily
in stained fingers 
he inhales
we depart 
over uneven concrete.
The trees are whimsical from up here.



Rock Creek Parkway

I like to watch you walk through city streets at dusk.
The men and women jingle their McDonalds 16 oz
of coins and mostly air like an atom held in a hand
some ask politely
but I prefer the musicality 
of fuck you
as rain taps its foot along to a cup of quarters. 
I gave a man my lunch;
he looked disappointed—
so did I.



Super Care | Drugs

On our way through Malibu
under the pharmaceutical sun
the barefoot and the naked
escape from bare feet and nudity
we pass a store and brake;
a Honda hits the bumper and Shan
tells me to get his insurance--
we’re in a rental.
A handshake and a smile
lacking teeth;
there’s a young girl in the back seat;
Shan says ‘we don’t want to get fucked.’
I just wanted to leave it--
no mark or scratch or dent,
only the missing teeth
from before we had met in the middle of Route 1
passing Super Care | Drugs--
he had a nice
warm hand 
beneath mansions



James Steck

James Steck lives in Washington, DC. He teaches high school English and coaches track and field in Fairfax, Virginia. He sketches frequently and enjoys sitting on fire escapes, and performing at open mics. His work is forthcoming with Better Than Starbucks and Wordpeace. His other work has appeared with Eunoia Review, Tiny Spoon Literary Magazine Issue 3, Goat's Milk Magazine Issue 4, The Odd Magazine, The Wild Word, With Painted Words, and others. You can find him on Instagram @jamodsteck or on Facebook as James David. James recommends Planned Parenthood.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, November 3, 2019 - 22:03