Yet • Charles Rammelkamp

Your fear is that one day
you’ll do something inappropriate,
maybe fondle a stranger’s ass
because you think
she’s sending signals;
you, a guy in his sixties,
too young to claim senility,
but too old for – for what?

Or take the cutie next door,
a woman thirty-five years your junior.
Maybe it will just be staring too long,
too longingly,
when she bends over in her garden,
trowel in hand.
She’ll catch you trying to peek
into the space where her t-shirt falls away.
You’ll turn your gaze,
but too late.

From then on she and her husband
will refer to you as “the perv,”
the guy they’ll warn their kids about
when they start a family –
if they don’t decide to move away first.

Here they come now.
“Hi, Pam. Hi, Brian.”

They look your way, wave,
don’t suspect a thing, yet.


Charles Rammelkamp lives in Baltimore. His latest book,
Fusen Bakudan (“Balloon Bombs” in Japanese), was
published in 2012 by Time Being Books. It’s a
collection of monologues involving missionaries in
a leper colony in Vietnam during the war. A chapbook,
Mixed Signals, will be published by Finishing Line
Press later this year. Charles edits an online
literary journal called The Potomac.