Last year alone, people bought more poetry than ever.
Last year alone, more people jumped from windows.
Last year alone, artists were blamed for more art.
      (Most of these felt they’d spent last year alone.)

A man walks into a doctor’s office and says, Doctor,
I feel like a painting of a man in a doctor’s office.
The doctor says, Please stand against this wall.

Last year alone, every child between two and four
wrote a novel using only three words. Last year alone,
every great writer said, Peek-a-boo!

A doctor walks into a man’s house and cries, Help me,
I feel wonderful.
The man puts his arms around him
and says, Tell me where it feels good.

Last year alone, there were fewer murders, but more
non-consensual deaths. The papers moaned, Alone, alone . . .
Last year alone, the average criminal averaged out.

A man and his doctor fall in love. At the wedding,
guests are told to wait outside until a nurse can
call them in, one at a time. Later, everyone leaves
with a lollipop. This is our last year alone, they say,
This is our last year alone.

Brendan Constantine’s most recent collections are Dementia, My Darling (2016) from Red Hen Press and Bouncy Bounce (2018), a chapbook from Blue Horse Press. Recent work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Daily, and Talking River. Since 2017 he has been working with speech pathologist Michael Beal to develop poetry workshops for people with Aphasia.