Poetry

Friday Fantasy

 

I’m thinking today of possible lovers,
One group estranged from the ordinary,
Bored by laundromats,
Intrigued by subtitles and coffee shops
The practical invested in shift work,
Netflix streamers, Verizon badgers,
Gentle lemmings out for
Sunday walks in the park,
Foreigners back from Prague,
Joggers
Solitary commuters,
Francophiles,
Or just you, naked,
Showered in your soft skin,
Poems falling from
Your green eyes

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Methadone

My lovely agonist,
Cruel substitute,
Halloween mask,
Candied-apple Lover
In your cheap eye-liner,
I want to lust for you
As my first drop-dead date
In concrete basements,
But you were sent
By some official
Dressed in green pants
With a name tag
And ugly shoes
I cannot trust
Right now.

But give me time.
For I need a lover,
As young hearts do,
Some quiet face
That doesn’t nod off
And eyes that do not close,
And long-fingered hands
On warm washcloths
And piano keys
On a Sunday afternoon.

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On sale

The rush to win
In the loud clutter
Of things I buy on sale,
Kidding myself, one more time.
That I’ve caught some weary seller
Off guard, before the doors close,
My two twenty dollar bills
Kissing the air between my wallet
And the cashier,
Convinced, in my delusion,
That I have stolen a victory
From another fool.

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The Moon

 

It is round
It arrives
It shines
It reflects
It is the sun’s stepchild,
It comes out
It stares without blinking
It draws us to it
It approves.

It hangs out in cemeteries
It sometimes sleeps in a cradle
It watches without judgment
It hides
It is silent
It is still
It waits for brides to stop dancing,
It wonders

It is the desert’s flashlight
It is the night’s open eye
It sleeps.
It whispers to werewolves
and drunks
It blushes
It caresses schizophrenics

It permits
It reveals
It sings the same song to all
first-time lovers
It cannot hear politicians
It stays when relatives leave
It holds the gun to your head,
Makes incisions that don’t hurt.

It grieves like an old man
It cries for limping dogs
It is never jealous your friends,
It won’t say goodbye.

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Moksha

Moksha is a Hindu word meaning “liberation” or “release.” I thought it appropriate for a poem about an older woman looking for a job. I don’t know about your town, but in my town, ageism is alive and well.  

Moksha

Looking out the bedroom window
At the breeze exhaling
Its frantic breath
Through backyard trees,
Leaves, like nervous
Bristles on a paint brush,
In a mad rush to finish
Another clumsy scene,
A cradle’s fast rocking
To the aching pulse of
Of Irene’s second month
Without work,
The restlessness of
Nothing to do,
Her mind rambling
Through stammering resentments
Of being too old,
Age arriving without warning
Or a reservation,
Legs hesitant to finish a stride,
Release denied, payments overdue,
The sun descending into
A crying child’s surrender
To reluctant dreams.

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Opioid Man

Was he about to learn,
Leaning over the rail,
The rush of dead leaves in his head,
A robin’s feathered chest
Dropped from the jaws
Of an eagle looking into
The dull mass of his eyes
Turnstyling what was yet left
To be lived.
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The Last Word

She had nothing more to say to him,
Or, so she thought.

A final soliloquy to decorate
The last exit?

A tired spring blossoming,
Ripped of its energy
By a fierce, aging winter
With its suffocating folds of snow
Matched the weakness of her resolve
To say one last goodbye.

Departures, she finally decided,
Better left to silence,
Avoiding the ache of closure
That never arrives
With the last word.

 

 

 

 

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An Aging God

Grace, a gift the unworthy
From an unknown lover,
Bartering as young gods always do
For more than respect,
Rejecting the cordiality
Of statesmen and underpaid doormen.

Who is this gift-giver, this once bronze god
Fermented into an old man’s unsteadiness,
Weak ankles, aching knee-caps, a lazy mouth?

Generosity cannot shuttle out of the arms
Of aging gods smoking cigars, one unsteady hand
Guiding a wheeled walker through the halls
Of the soundless stalks of the unrepentant.

 

 

 

 

 

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Le Désir

 

She was the object of somebody’s desire,
Like the faint shadow of a morning deer
Seen through the dead brush,
Fog lifting into its own absence,
Background to the primal hunt,
A new man frozen by impulse,
She, pretending confidence
In a shoulder’s shrug, brown focused eyes.

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Imaginé

She was silent today, another dry event,
Trying to train herself into the habit
Of not thinking about him,
But feeling the cool memory
That lingered in between
The cars she passed on the Interstate,
Driving to the summer cottage
On a winter weekend,
To sit quietly inside his absence,
Opening empty cupboards,
Breaking frozen branches,
Scouring the floor with her iPhone light
To find the small notes he left her
During the week, his monk’s notices
Of celibate days not working for him
But promising to let go
If she would make her truce
To surrender quietly to his words
Until, according to the contract,
He would leave her small blank pages,
“My robin’s wounds,” he texted her.

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