Monday

I stare into my coffee as if it will give me answers, a swirl of black coffee foaming from the press. It isn’t talking. Maybe some tea.

I’ve been here before–a cold, hard rock and a lost place. I am not a child. I sit paralyzed. The door annoys and the phone is an intrusion.

There is one thing that is tolerable. And as a child, music could soothe me. But which? Blues is too sad. Would jazz make me bitch-slap someone?

Ah, Brahms,my old friend.I smile and squeeze his hand. No,It must be Ludwig. Do understand. It is not you, it’s me. There is so much at stake.

Continue reading “Monday”

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Their seasons

Her damp brow, from
hard work and well-
earned rest
a starling sings, and
she lifts her hands
in prayer-full stance–
the wind is shifting
and she remembers

In pre-twilight
early summer blues
a man-boy’s voice, inviting
her
don’t forget about the love
don’t leave it behind
don’t leave summer behind

She smelled evergreen
through July’s singe of grass
the first raspberries tart
and sweet
red lips musing
a wipe on the back of her arm
and in the leaves–
traces of longing

What do you suppose
the clouds talk about–
congregating in cirrocumulus bevy
when they see all of it–
the neck bite.
the slammed door.
one red apple.

By August’s fireflies
he–on the road
she–writing sonnets
on social media–
bursts from her pen
epics he will not read
reams, of
her late night daydreams

Just in time
for September,she
will answer the phone
breathless
wondering why he waited
until he finished the bottle
to call–
each word counted
and kept

Starting his wander back
through snowy by-ways
he searches for their key
in a pocket with a hole in it
knowing
it will take nearly ’til May
to speak of her again. Until

the breeze catches her scent
and he returns, to
find her once more–
his brown-haired fay
he swore was made of vapour
from the clouds
of early June

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

 

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”