The Outsider by Preston Smith

I watch the news every night.
Tonight, they say the warm season is coming to an end,
but I knew even before the air cooled
or pumpkin spice perfumed public places. 
You’re so much bigger than it, they say,
but does size ever really matter?
The outsider arrived and I knew not
what it meant to conquer.
I never knew when or how the outsider appeared.
Perhaps it found a crack in the foundation
of my dilapidated home: an abode I cherished,
for it was the only place that was ever truly mine.
But now I share, and with more than just my cat,
who, upon further consideration, could have carried
the outsider in, unaware of the visitor hitching a ride
on his jack-o-lantern body.
I lie in bed each night, wondering
whether the outsider has or will climb into my bed.
I reflect on theoretical ideas of solidarity and humanity:
my cat hasn’t laid with me in months.
Instead, I awake one morning to its beady eyes
ogling at mine, a cold good morning staring
back at me, the creature pondering if I’ve ever known
what it’s like to be an outsider.

Preston Smith is a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he studied English Literature. Preston has interned with Mid-American Review and is currently the managing editor of Prairie Margins. He can be found on Twitter (and Instagram!) @psm_writes, tweeting about his cats, Helios and Misty, and his love for fairy tales. He has poems published in “The Castle” (Royal Rose), The Arsonist, Brave Voices Magazine, Catfish Creek, and Nightingale & Sparrow and forthcoming in Pink Plastic House a tiny journal.


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