75 cents by Michael Channing


by Michael Channing

i used to buy comic books for seventy-five cents
once or twice a month if my allowance could last and the trajectory of my mother's travels brought me within grabbing distance of a wire rack
the comics from my granny's attic range from fifty cents down to a dime
it seems every year they up the price of a dream
now it costs ten bucks to stare for two hours at the superhero of your choice and you still need a parent to take you
but it's slicker and louder and faster and you get more than four colors and a whole story instead of this month’s installment
i can't rightfully say the comics of my day were any better
because whenever i cast that far back
all i can remember is the rattle and heft of three silver quarters, the squeal and lurch of the lopsided rack, the grocery store exit opening at my approach, the drive home with my new comic unopened on my lap, my bed stilted five feet off the floor, the space beneath pillowed and lit by a desk lamp, my hand on the cover, much smaller than now, turning, pausing, turning
no matter the title, the form, or the cost
every dream is small enough to hold
too large to contain

Four-Color Dreams

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing

April 20, 2018