by Austin Segrest

It’s an ugly age—twenty-three.
Off-balance, uneven. And that night, the year
walked out on me, out of the blue jeans
left in the hallway by my own front door

when I’d stepped out to take a piss
(or had I pissed myself?). Sloughed off,
they’re still holding their shape in the morning
like the base of a broken statue.

In the pocket my cellphone’s ringing—
it’s me, stumbling around the apartment
on the cordless, half-naked, a year older,
hearing the damn thing I don’t know where.

Originally from Alabama, AUSTIN SEGREST teaches at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. His poems appear in The Yale ReviewThe Threepenny ReviewNew England ReviewPloughsharesEcotone, and others. This fall he will be a Provincetown fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center.