top of page

Gus Peterson

Schrodinger’s Office

I’m thinking of time, or the way

you said a quarter century.

How it sagged against one

of four walls, sunk like a rock

to the bottom of the break room.

We were speaking of this place,

its right angles and ghostly fluorescence.

If only we too could regenerate

with a fresh coat of paint or a new

row of windows winking in sunlight,

things would be different.

If only those stairs were less steep.

For half a half century we’ve clattered

inside this box like the shaken

contents of a yet unwrapped present,

living the gift of half-lives.

As if we were ever all there

to begin with.

Going Back on the Pills

Friday of the first week of the first

ninety day refill and I’m already paying

the price of readmission, have already

become the last of our peanut butter wrung

out of its hollowed jar, its tic-tac-toe

of desperate striations, the sound of it

stuck and strained through steel

across scorched dermises of bread.

Oh, but isn’t that the process –

placing each empty vessel in the trash?

And later, with a little pat of luck,

a little therapy, the recycling before

remembering like everyone else

to stop at the store for more,

that pleasure of choice – chunky,

smooth – laid out like an ailing road

they keep patching and releasing

to the insanity of traffic.


Gus Peterson lives and writes beside the Kennebec River in Maine, where he serves on the board of the Maine Poets Society, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging a love for and a practice of poetry for all Maine residents. Recent work has appeared online with Rattle's Poets Respond series and abroad with Black Noir Review, and is forthcoming in print with Pirene's Fountain in 2023.


bottom of page