Precious

She cried during Star Wars
and he laughed at her
which made her cry more
turning to lay her cheek
against the cool glass
raindrops on the window
like diamonds

‘Isn’t it precious,’ she thought
lighting a cigarette
and hearing him cough
from across the room
but he’d never tell her to stop
crazy about her grumpy moods
in love with how she exhaled

“Maybe we should get away,” he said
getting up and walking over
kneeling at her feet, and
wrapping his arms about her legs
hearing her reply how she liked
things the way they were, and
feeling her fingers in his hair

 

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Didn’t we die, bit by bit

4 leaf clover

(redux)

I walked around
the disease
adding up the slights
I heard talk of gangrene
waiting for that four-leaf clover
since ten
(holy shit)
that seems foolhardy

each night
something new tossed into the stew
with the carrots and red potatoes
the gravy and its
discontent
covering everything

wasn’t that sweet
following with cheesecake
and café au lait
each measured step
on rose petals
to silk bliss
the decay forgotten
for hours

Photo by Joe Papp, Wikipedia

dame in a red dress

I could be anyone in a red dress walking into Clark’s. Anyone in a ripped, red, satin dress walking up to the bartender without looking at him; hearing him mutter, ‘that’s original’ when I order my whiskey neat. I chase it with the Schlitz he slides in front of me, and finally look up at him and then past him to the reflection in the bar mirror after two more. They don’t see me. I am just part of the furniture here, where dames in red dresses get a raw deal seven nights a week. We get tiresome, I know. But, give me time. I might grow on you.

Eaten

Her bitterness grew, eating her organs gradually. When her doctor read the
x-rays, he showed her where her heart used to be, reduced, he said, to the
size of a radish.
“Why are things always compared to food?” she asked.
“Maybe,” he suggested to her, “because of what is eating you.”
She went away, pondering how she might grow a new heart. Perhaps it was
something she could bake in the oven or grow in the garden.

Pre-threnody (before you go)

I don’t want anything of his when he is gone. Not a damned thing.
We didn’t talk for 20 years, and now he tells me stories. He tells me things about my mother I never knew, and I tuck them away like perfumed handkerchiefs in small drawers. I may never open them again, but they are there, preserved for posterity. Someone will want them and treasure them. Or someone careless will throw them in the trash.

Florence

Remember when no one could touch us?
You were Superman
I was Wonder Woman
and cape, candles, and
a length of rope
were all we needed

Love at first sight?
I grabbed at you
like in a haunted house
frantic and wasteful
horrific in its lies
but she will not have you
my right to be here
is grandfather’d in

I remember when we arrived here
such hopes consumed me–
I tried to love you, my idea of you
my vision of us, your selfish words, and
my selfish plans coated with expectation
left us in the dust

And now I think I will die here
and never see Paris
or the Thames
never throw my wishes into the fountain
I will die here
and never see Rome
or eat figs from a tree in Sicily
and Florence is just a lady on t.v.

Conversations: (why) don’t you trust me

I was told to open up
I was asked to show my real face

/don’t you trust me yet/

(no. But I can’t tell you that. You might be dangerous.)

/what is the real you/

[what are you wearing] Really? That?

please, don’t.

/show me/

Lana del Rey is crooning about Summertime from the other room while I have clicked on a poet I never read before, reading about her grief. The two meet somewhere between rooms and I imagine them as performance art. I write something to that effect on Twitter. Ten minutes later I get embarrassed. I delete it.

I show you a picture of an animal in a trap.

/ I don’t get it/

Then why ask to see it? Why ask for transparency without a measure of mercy and understanding in your pockets?

/show me more/

You’re a sadist, aren’t you?

/don’t you trust me?/

(no)

[should I?]

I don’t know.


Your Loss, part 12

airplane.jpg

If you are just beginning the story, start  here

“Sir? What flight?”

The woman at the desk was brusque and impatient. The line was getting longer by the minute. She didn’t look at or speak to Petra.

“2 adults to Lisbon.”

She prepared their tickets and stamped them, her eyes boring into Roberts’ eyes as they were slid across the counter with immaculately groomed and sharpened red claws. She seemed to notice Petra for the first time and eyed them both close and tight. Robert took the tickets and dipped his hat, turning to walk away with a hand at Petra’s back. “90 minutes.”

He could feel the shape of a target in the middle of his back as they made their way to the gate. They didn’t stop at a lavatory or a café.  They walked until they reached the gate, then they sat down.

Continue reading “Your Loss, part 12”

I thought death had better manners

death-2024663_1280

 

 

A shadow fell across me
and the shelves of canned tomatoes
before me at the local market
someone breathing–heavy enough
close enough to feel it upon my neck

I moved an obligatory two steps
toward the green beans
but the shadow moved with me
like the mouth-breathers from
middle school

I made a quick move to leave the aisle
when a black-robed figure
skirted around me, knocking off
half a dozen cans
with a garden tool

Finally in line, with my 2 cans
of pizza sauce and a rotisserie chicken
I saw the black robe putting groceries
on the conveyor, and when he turned
his head I saw it was the grim reaper

I said, “Hey man–how come
you have 32 items in the express lane?”
Everything stopped. The store
was shrouded in silence. The cashier
looked at me in horror

Death’s hand stopped in mid-air
holding a box of Corn Pops.
“You know,” I said
“That stuff’ll kill you.”

 


from 2015
image by pixabay.com

Your Loss, pt. 11

1940's airport

The beginning of the story

One day in London turned into Petra and Robert replaying the good parts of Niagara Falls. The first two days were spent fasting, and nearly dehydrating, in their hotel room. On the third day Petra and Robert ventured out, finding their way to a restaurant, and then to a racetrack, somewhere Petra could place a bet. It could have been anywhere, but Robert did love the horses. They got his heart racing in a way that nothing else could with the exception of the roulette table. Petra went along with it without much to say. She could live without gambling for once– the entire escapade a gamble, whether they lived or died, together or alone.

Continue reading “Your Loss, pt. 11”