Pretty Lights by John Frank Haugh

Pretty Lights

by John Frank Haugh

Pretty Lights Nine days left in his twenty-ninth year the Businessman
slips silent from Claustrophobia House. He climbs
shadows, stands on a darkened church roof.

Four hundred bucks, a bus ticket, a backpack with apple
& paperback. A long wool coat scratchy-sodden wet,
tight at shoulder and hip. I bought a birth certificate,

it carries a different name. Two cement block are three sixty two,
at Lowes. Pretty cars pass. I could leave my overpass note or river
bridge note as if jumping, then Greyhound. Walk on, consider.

Weight paper with cement or drop a block? I could almost take out
one of the lights streaming below, tonight. Block through glass
as they speed curves. Pretty cars drive by, unaware


John Frank Haugh’s writing has been published in storySouth, The North Carolina Literary Review, Notre Dame Magazine, Main Street Rag, Rat’s Ass Review, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He won the 2022 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, was selected for Poetry in Plain Sight, a couple anthologies, and other things. Haugh lives in Greensboro North Carolina, was a good fencer once, and spends untold hours in bookstores like Scuppernong and Bookmarks. When not helping fix supply chain problems, walking, or napping, he works on his next book.