Outside of time and space I perch with Charles
Dickens. We sit on a cold, concrete porch step
in the middle of the English rain.”I have
to hand it to you, kid,” he says, giving back
my notebook filled with bad poems. “You write words.”
I shrug and inhale acrid, poisonous smoke
into my lungs, hoping cancer is growing
and spreading. Charles eyes me suspiciously
and elbows me in the rib cage. “You’re not good,”
he says. I shrug again and watch a woman
stroll past with her hand in the crook of a man’s
arm. Dickens glares at them with outright disdain.
“To hell with poems,” he says, through rotting teeth.
“Where you’d learn how to write, anyway? A cave?”
I nod, smugly, and take a sip of coffee
before telling him, “It was the best of times…”