Monday, February 28, 2011

Love Still



I'm thinking of someone I loved--

Love still.

I'm looking at the vines that grow on the west side of the yard--

Why do they reach out to the second post, or the third?

Why does the simple painted wood invite the seeking curls?

Why are they there at all,

With their red stems,

And new green leaves?

Why am I,

With my old sweater and my melancholy?



I'm thinking of someone I loved--

Love still.

Shouldn't love be a thing in motion, like an arm reaching

With fingers open

Welcoming?

I am thinking of the places where the vines don't grow,

Because someone who doesn't care for vines has cut them,

Or because mulberries and wild strawberries were already there.



I am thinking of someone who loved me--

Loves me still.

I am thinking of her face, and her dark hair long that enchants me.

I am wondering how the vines know where is empty air and where is something solid?

I am thinking how the afternoon turns, becoming dusk.



I am thinking of the vines, and the bruisy evening sky.

I am thinking of someone I loved--

Love still.

________

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Late Winter Delirium



My dreams ice at the edges when I get this tired.

They stand like winter stalks

Or dead brides,

Miles from the main road

Or any comforting verse.



See the hag, the hearse,

The hard frozen road and the half moon hanging--

They whisper,

Here is your baby girl you lost.

Here is your youth.

Here is your easy life in summertime, the crickets and clear stars,

The lavender and clean sheets,

All the things forgotten, disbelieved or denied.

Here is the basket with no bottom, and here is the hope of carrying them with you anyway.

Here is your heart--

We have saved it through the deepest freeze and weakest light.



I had made a heart of brown leaves and birds' nests, thundersnow and feathers.

Now,

A whole flock flies from it and still, it isn't mine.

I take the new one offered, as if it were strong and worth possessing.



If I have to feel my real heart, let me feel it plain--

My voice will crack the river as I scream.

Give it to me anyway,

I am too tired to fight.

Lie if you need to,

Tell me there is a Mother in Heaven, a Love in the Spring;

Tell me any mad tale that comes to mind--

That what God creates, she loves,

And does not leave behind.

________

The Hospital For Carnies



At the hospital for carnies,

The aerialist expresses that she only feels at ease when riding her unicycle across a tightrope

Fifty feet above the crowd.

In social situations,

Sitting on a cushioned wrought-iron chair on the cement patio of an outdoor cafe,

The world shifts with every incomprehensible word.

Yawning chasms open with every change of expression around her

Until she wonders why the passing traffic doesn't just slide to either end of the street,

Crazily piled and on fire.

She prefers faces from a distance,

Upturned,

Amazed and munching popcorn.



Injured clowns lie in beds lined up like file drawers,

Their temperatures and symptoms noted fastidiously in orderly notes written by efficient nurses.

At precise three-foot intervals on the walls of the ward, there are edifying posters--

Brush!

(with your useless limbs)

Exercise!

(with your wasted bodies)

Improve yourselves!

(so that you can leave uncommonly large shoes to fill)

The clowns weep, which disrupts their electrolytes--

They flicker like faulty bulbs.

To cheer them,

Children are brought in;

Most of the clowns improve, though the youngsters are of no provable value.

However, a few of the clowns exhibit pedophobia--

Their terror only weakens them further.



In the basement of the hospital for carnies is the morgue.

The sword swallower is lying on his back on a stainless steel table.

"I died out there tonight," he reports. His melancholy must be removed and make-up applied before the public can be allowed to see him again.



Carnies, like anyone else, are subject to microbe and mishap--

Someone must tend to them.

The horses with their beautiful plumes cannot do it,

Nor can the tigers, long since cowed by whip and chair.

The elephants would, but are distracted by peanuts and water buckets,

While chimpanzees care only for themselves and certain edibles, such as mango and papaya.

Enter the staff of the hospital for carnies--

"Primum non nocere," they recite in unison as an ambulance delivers a stilt walker on a long gurney.

He is propelled by paramedics through hoops of fire at the bay doors,

Followed by Tom Thumb, riding in an upside down top hat balanced on a seal's nose.

Complaining of a small headache,

Tom is rescued by the largesse of the doctors,

Who hang from rings like subway riders,

All of them double-jointed

And ever at the ready to treat and heal.

________

For One Shoot Sunday. Photo by jackAZ

________

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Interlude



I dreamed I met a young trans dyke gypsy and her girlfriend

After a reading at Cat Tails.

Conventions fell away from them like dust from the wings of Romany-speaking red-tailed hawks

And as I stepped up into their wagon,

Years vanished from me

Like black beads from a broken rosary.



They renewed my faith

In twenty minutes.

The girlfriend's lips were like light to one nocturnally born--

A glorious surprise,

As the trans dyke soothed the smoke-stained walls

With the flow of her voice

Smooth as the springwork on a trap door into momentary solace.



I found two sisters,

But in the morning they moved on,

And I crawled the scrub weed barbed wire slopes

Back down to job,

Obligations,

And dreary February like a congregation of Baptist corpses singing.

_______

photo by Metin Demiralay

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Rise And Fall Of Mystical Artist Tyrus Walker



Mystical artist Tyrus Walker begins working feverishly on his latest creation,

His crowning achievement,

The defining product of his singular vision,

And culmination of his life to date.

He licks his fingers and consults the yellow pages.

Soon, two enormous weather balloons are tied down in his front yard!

Next, trembling with the beauty of it, Tyrus begins constructing a colossal snow and ice replica of his manhood.

It towers!

It blocks the noonday sun as it stretches toward the Heavens!

Mystical artist Tyrus Walker gasps as he gazes upon the finished work, then weeps openly in overwhelmed triumph.



"What the fuck is that?" ask his neighbors.

An artist, especially a genius, is never understood.

Tyrus installs floodlights, so that his masterwork may be seen twenty-four hours a day, from as far away as Portland!

In fact, it is probably visible from outer space.

Neighborhood children draw smiley faces on the weather balloons, and run away laughing as Tyrus hurries outside to scatter them.

Woe!

Their markers have pierced the weather balloons' delicate outer layers, and they slowly begin to go lopsided in wrinkly ruin.

The smiles turn to straight lines and then turn down as the balloons edges droop, to become frowns.

The eyes appear Asian, but upside down.

This was not mystical artist Tyrus Walker's vision at all!



But that is not the worst of it.

The sun comes out, like a jealous god, and as the temperature of the air rises, Tyrus's immense tower begins to list to one side!

The right side.

Why?

Soon, it is looking bowed and sad, like a depressed elephant.

It loses height.

It loses girth.

It loses majesty.

Mystical artist Tyrus Walker is distraught!

In all his years of creating similar works, this is an unprecedented disaster.

"This has never happened before!" he insists in a shocked voice.

Neighborhood wives laugh, and the sound wounds Tyrus!

He is about to rebuke them, when his magnificent sculpture falls in half, like a dying slushee.

It is too much.

Midgets and small boys strut around him, making jokes at Tyrus Walker's expense.

He dies a broken man, his ultimate achievement reduced to nothing.



Someone puts up a latticework arbor on the site.

It is modest, but beautiful, arching gracefully with a statue of the Virgin standing within it.

Each year, red roses bloom,

Their appearance and fragrance simple yet matchless in all the neighborhood.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dark Angels



The Queen Of The Vampires, in black panther form,

Sits on the damp sidewalk outside Danny's Coffee Shop.

She turns her golden eyes up to the night sky, as deep and as black as she is.



High above,

Snowflakes form and fall,

Like dark angels

With frozen skins.

She bats at them for a while, then lets them cover her,

One

By one,

By three,

By hundreds,

Until she is her own Van Gogh Starry Night

Lit by headlights

And the glow from Danny's behind her.



In time,

Because she is a cat,

She will go inside--

Clearly,

Regally,

Offended.

Tonight, she will lie down in the front window,

Showing her tail to the warm lit room,

And her sorrow to the stop light

And the passing hours.



Sleep, that tender killer, covers her,

And she finds the one forbidden her

In a made-up dream even vampires need

When the shadows have called

And hidden her.

_______

for One Shot Wednesday #34

Monday, February 21, 2011

Post Much Wishing Several Happinesses You!

Hi! Be the welcomed to my blog!



It's always much the goodness to see you!



Please for leaving the happy comment smile making words...



And take with you much the good wishes from me!





Remember to not the forgetting your award...



And please be the having my blog in your followings!



Having the happy day I hope you are being! Buh bye!

________

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Questions, Answers, And Kitsch



Do lions dream?

Of course they do.

They dream of zebra--

Enormous, endless herds of zebra,

Nearly all of them young,

Or lame,

Or so stupefied by the afternoon sun

That they simply blink and lie down

Like mail on the little table

By the front door.



Do zebra dream?

Of course they do.

They dream of wings--

Enormous, glorious wings, so that they barely need hooves at all;

They dream of taking to the sky and making it appear as a black and white checkered tile floor

In a little diner

By the freeway.



These are things not spoken of;

Not generally known--

Like the way your eyes remain calm but the corner of your mouth turns up

When you have already pounced

In your mind.



Do Romans dream?

No, not ever.

Their mouths have filled with mud and they have rotted along with their laurel leaves.

Tourists fill their coliseum, fearing nothing.

Their gods and goddesses have been pitifully reduced,

Barely hanging on as the names of automobiles

Or household pets.

Rome is dead,

Like a blue bottle fly

Dried up on a window sill.



The Romans are gone,

And with them, their hubris and gory entertainments--

But there are still lions,

And there are still zebra,

And there is still my love for you,

Sitting lightly atop your head and in your hair

Like a pair of ginormous and kitschy

Sunglasses.

_______


for One Shoot Sunday. Photograph by jackAZ.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Haunted House

The wind is absolutely howling tonight, freaking me out a bit. I decided to write a tongue-in-cheek haunted house poem, but it went where it would, and in the end only freaked me out even more. Here it is.

The wind was talking smack against the window frames

When the knock came.

She looked like you, could almost be you

The way that smoke could almost be ink.



I showed her to the wide stone staircase lit with torches.

The mastiffs could barely be kept from falling upon her,

Or me,

So like nervous rabbits did we seem.



She looked so like you, turning her back the same way,

That I saw each step as we rose to be a tarot card.

I asked her a question,

But she spared me only the same answer shades give

Albeit draped in dark inflections,

Inviting me further into my own house as she gained strength and I became more lost.



There are places no one should ever go--

The greenhouse at night;

The lawn on Hangman's Tuesday.

I offered her a room and she suffered me to come inside,

Undressing and bathing me as if I had died.

She loved me as moths do,

Lightly and unthinkingly--

Again, she was almost you except without the iced white roses you always carry at your breasts

Or the melody you sing to keep me tethered.



I placed my desire in a velvet pouch and slipped it into her pillow case

As one slips poison into fresh dough.

She rose

In the morning

Like a black sun,

The half-interested new Mistress of the Manor,

Shutting my eyes inside a bone locket at her throat so that I might always see

How happy she had become

Devouring the desire

Intended for another.

_________

Friday, February 18, 2011

Clyde


Clyde at the cafe, engulfed in flames,

Has an odd experience.

Smoke pours down into him,

And the flames draw together, shrinking, as if they were cold.

The tea bag leaps back into the cup,

Which rises to his hand.

The fire lifts away

Like startled red birds, departing.

A woman walks past him, in heels, backwards, smiling.

Clyde looks down,

Unreading a story about last night's Red Sox game.

His morning is repaired.

He understands now,

She was not the one for him.

______

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scorpion

if a scorpion
wraps herself around your heart,
don't
don't look
don't look at anybody else.

if a scorpion
curls her tail around your heart,
don't
don't love
don't love anybody else.

if a scorpion
has wrapped herself around your heart,
love
love like it
love like it's the last day you will see--
that's all
that's all that there may be--
love dangerous love
now that you've found it;
lucky heart
with the scorpion's tail wrapped 'round it.
_______

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Girl's Gotta Do...

Medea is sitting inside Danny's Coffee shop on a Wednesday morning.

A PTA mom is standing at the to-go counter. She is not wearing pyjamas. She is not without perfectly applied make-up. Her blonde hair is not natural,

And looks as if you could reach out and snap a piece off.

She is in the middle of haranguing Denise the waitress about her very particular order. She has been staring unseeingly at Medea while carping in such a grating voice that it

Shorts out half the appliances in the place,

But all at once, a light seems to go on inside her head, even as many of the overheads are going out.

"Oh my god," she says. "You're Medea."



Medea sighs. "And....?"

"Annnnnnnnd," drones the PTA mom, "you killed your kids! Oh my god!"

Medea makes that big-eyed, curl-lipped face, gives her head a little shake, and mimics the mom. "Ohmuhgaw. You kiyerkidz!"

It's true. She did.

You see, Jason scored the Golden Fleece, blah blah, but had to do three tasks,

And so she helped him yolk the fire-breathing cows (a good vet could have cleaned their teeth and fixed that) by giving them this dope she cooked up,

And then helped him plant an army, which was dragon's teeth that turned into...

You really want to hear all this? Okay okay.

...that turned into an army, so she pitched this Pet Rock thing she got at the Dollar Store in among them,

And cos they were a pack of dumbasses anyway, they all went, "whoa, from whence doth this rock appear?" and when nobody materialized to give them the answer, 

They went nuts on each other and defeated themselves.

Jason was all, "Pretty good right? Dja see me do that?" when it was all Medea.

So then some other stuff, bullshit bullshit bullshit, 

And he said he'd take her to Las Vegas and marry her, but he found some chippie named Glaucoma, or Glauca, or Glenda Goodwitch or whatever, who said she was a king's daughter, but

He was only the Used Car King, like that's this big deal, 

But like I was saying, he did Medea wrong after she did all that junk for him and so she had to do something, am I right?

So she offed their kids.

Yeah, I know. But still!

I mean, what was she supposed to do, be all "Jason honey, follow your star!" and hand him over to that little homewrecker? Um, nooOOOooo. I so don't think so.



Plus she kind of killed her brother in law or somebody,

And did this trick where she made an old ram into a young one and it jumped out of the stew (I think she just didn't microwave it long enough, or on half power, or something), and that got these two dim bulb girls to off their parents, but she never touched the parents herself, I swear,

But people are all omg about that, too.



And now the PTA mom is standing there and totally judging.

Honey, if I had roots like that, I'd be googling local salons, but whatever.

So then, after three tries, Denise gets this chick's order just right, like it had to be this certain way or the world was gonna end, and PTA mom takes it all huffy and pays and hits the street.

"What a bitch!" says Denise the waitress.

"I know, right?" agrees Medea.

Then they are laughing,

And the lights come back on

On a Wednesday morning

At Danny's Coffee Shop.

_________

 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vikings



Vikings arrive by sea.

They do not want mystery meat.

They do not want mcnuggets.

They find you in your loft with your

Flat screen

And your baseball cards;

By the time they are done, if they wanted it

Then they have tuckit.

On a pike, your silly head.

Held high in bloody hands, your heart.



Boudica arrives by land.

Her back is striped and her face is hard.

She shan't be leaving a calling card.

She will find you in your tudor

Selling amway

Making goose clothes;

By the time she is done, no manolo blahniks in the closet,

No koi pond in the yard.

Your neck a broken stem.

Your head a fallen rose.



The Chase banker sits

With his bald fringe like a Roman--

Meeting Vikings at the close of day

And Boudica in the gloaming.

_________

dedicated to my favorite Viking Grrl

for One Shot Wednesday

Fireblossom's Niceness School

Hello Darlings. I admit, I have not quite been myself the past couple of days.

I felt so lethargic yesterday! I didn't even dust the astrolabes. What could cause this?

Then, later, everything and (almost) everyone began to irritate me. Imagine that.

Then, a check of the calendar revealed all. I am now doing my best to be cheerful and helpful. So, what can I do for you? Careful. *smile*

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Invitation

Dear Readers,

No poem right now. But I would like to invite you all to read my Valentine's Day story "Jumping The Broomstick" at my story blog, Night Blooms, which you can find HERE.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

xox

Fireblossom

PS--I am adding a video of Carlene Carter cos it's my blog and I can, lol.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mysteries of Medicine, Love, and Cuisine



CSI's discover that donuts have a hole in them

And pledge themselves to finding out exactly who has stolen them.

Spaghetti noodles, it seems to me, are longer than they are wide

But what I want to know is if they're equal on either side?



There are no stupid questions

But the answers can be outlandish;

There are two sides to everything,

Which is a fine start toward a sandwich.



Dr. Ammadoujananakedlapedian Pooladelichiplipopoulos

Took time out from her busy day just so that she could talk to us.

A latrophobic friend of ours is also afraid of carrots;

Dr. Pooladelichiplipopoulos says he'll simply have to bear it.



Dogs are smarter than people,

Who, in turn, are smarter than fence posts;

But is that a reason for swelling pride?

Or endless, idle boasts?



Dr. Pooladelichiplipopoulos must now hastily depart

In order to place a want ad offering her extra heart

For rent or sale to any male who can recite Desiderata

While juggling stolen donut holes and doing the lambada.

______ 

Bosco Bandstand



Today, Bosco has chosen the musical accompaniment! It seems his mom can neither compose poetry nor perform basic tasks without his presence, and so he has, as he has had to do so often, picked up her slack, lest readers of the Word Garden have to go without.

There is good news! His Majesty is responding to his treatment, and his blood sugar has lowered. If all goes well, I can pick him up this afternoon after learning how to give him his insulin.

A note about the music: much can be explained by the fact that Bosco, bless him, is both a dude and a dog. Finishing School drop-out Beth Hart seems very agreeable to him, whereas many may find her funny or embarrassing. She is probably all of these things. The beginning of the vid is enough to convey Bosco's sentiments. Anyone who makes it through all ten minutes wins a free stop-smoking kit.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who have helped me deal with my baby being sick. Soon it will be Bosco who will need your help in dealing with wayyyyy too much mom mush. Poor Bosco! Rock on, buddy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Buddy Is Sick



There's no friend like a puppy or a dog, and as all of my regular readers know, my friend is Bosco. You can see his picture by clicking the stand-alone page on the top bar.

Today I took my buddy to the vet because he had been super thirsty and just not quite right and they said they needed to keep him and do some tests. Reluctantly, I left him, and felt like a monster for doing it. Four hours later the vet called with the results....my baby has canine diabetes. He needs to stay for 48 hours while they try to get his glucose level down, and then I'm to come in and learn how to give him his insulin shots. That I can do. He's my furry baby, I would do anything I need to.

From what some very kind friends have told me, it is serious but manageable. Good, because just this little separation has me in tears. I have long thought that children and pets should be exempt from disease, but it isn't so.

Even on my worst days, one look at Bosco's happy face makes me happy again. Even when resources have been scant, I have always managed to keep him in treats and chews, no matter what. When I am lonely, he is my friend, when someone comes near the door, he is my protector, and when I look up, there he is, always. It's very hard for me to be away from him, especially when I know he does not understand.

He's my best friend and I miss him.

________

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby



The snow has made my eyes hurt--

I long for darkness as if it were a thirst.

I long to bury my face in your hair, like waking at night in a familiar room,

Nothing needing to be done but breathe

And hours still left, for doing that.



I want you for your beauty and your flaws as well--

I want to feel you melting against the palm of my hand.

You feel to me like the rest of the month, the winter, the year stretching out--

You are the reason I love the long hours,

To think of nothing but the sound of your breathing

With hours still left, for doing that.

______

for One Shot Wednesday

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh Hai, Flub-possum Here

Oh Hai. Iz me, Flub-possum.

me not feel so gud latelee.

maybe is winterness joy suck...

maybe Ceiling Cat no like my happee azz.

Anyway, peeple gib advice.  Some say turn frown ubside down...


some say contack odder side

some say keep bizzy

odders say be creeateive.

all deez seem much the smartness.

Still, think me fownd problum.

Yay! Now Flub-possum kured!

U gotz odder queschuns, me try find anzers!

_______

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lady Franklin Bay



By the time I got there, the snow had died.

I blamed the sky.

She changes and all follows, helplessly.

The sun and moon both try to stay with her--

Both fail and fall.

I wrapped the still, white body of the snow around my heart,

Not to warm it--

But to make it colder yet.

I tried to stay with the snow,

Out of pity

Out of sisterhood

But I loved the sky too much.

See there?

Next to the sun, around the moon?

That is the ring of foolishness my devotion made.

That is my heading, where I am stopped and splintered--

An idiot made mad by Heaven's untouchable constancy.

_______

photo by Metin Demiralay

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Circuit Rider



The land was dry that summer,

Dotted with papery stalks like widows alone in the big house fields

Under a merciless sky that sent no visitors.



I was the first to see him, you know.

We were thief and crucifier,

One standing, the other leaning from his horse.

He smiled.

"Good afternoon, Miss," he said, and serpents wound around me as if I were a caduceus driven into the sick earth,

And he the surgeon.



"Sir," I replied and dipped in what might have been a lazy curtsy

Or my usual faint disrespect.

He wore black,

With that Roman spot of white at his throat, as if doves might fly out when he spoke,

And in his hand a bible.

I stared at its closed pages thinking how like a sleeping lion it seemed,

And I,

So unholy,

Would stand no chance once he opened it--

So I wept,

There on the dusty flat,

My tears the only moisture given it in weeks.



I have never touched My Love;

Not as the hawk or the barn owl touch--

Not the way I want to.

Her eyes are the same dark blue as the coat our Daddies stripped off that Yankee officer

Just before they let him sway,

Strung like an empty seed pod over the dirt five feet beneath his boot soles.



The church does with lay preachers most Sundays,

But for when the circuit rider comes.

This was a new one, and we all went silent when he raised his hand with the scripture above his head.

I wanted to hold My Love's fingers in mine, beneath our skirts on the hard pew,

So that I would not drown when he began to speak,

But my cowardice doomed me.

He cleared his throat.

Once.

Again, louder.

Then the thunder came, from a clear night sky,

The lightning turning the walls blue, then red as the tinderbox prairie caught.



Last summer the cattle came down with a pox.

At first, only one or two died, and that's how it was when the first fat drops fell on the church roof.

 I couldn't catch my breath.

The preacher began with his text and his message.

I recalled the cattle, how more and more of them suffered and failed. Daddy had to use the horse team to drag all the carcasses far enough away to burn them.

I remember the big dark poisonous cloud across Heaven.

I looked over and saw My Love's eyes on fire--

The preacher's voice got louder and the storm raged.

Everybody shouted, spoke in tongues, rolled on the floor.

In a night become flood and fire, I turned to stone,

Heart first.



In the days after,

What didn't burn, grew;

Some did both and smolder yet.

The circuit rider set his gotten treasure on his horse

And I watched two sets of eyes look back at me as they rode away,

One blank, one deep blue.



Maybe I will follow the circuit,

Become a whiskey whore

Or go stupid with laudanum, passing out on the horsehair sofa all afternoon.

Maybe I will find him and cut his throat like cleaning a dove,

But it wouldn't undo the storm,

Would it?



Sometimes I wonder

If that Yankee officer got any closer to Heaven,

By rope,

By hatred.

I wonder if his spirit could teach a snakebit southern girl

Whether life goes on

After the heart beat stops?

________

for One Shoot Sunday

top photograph by Sean McCormick

bottom photograph by Metin Demiralay

Friday, February 4, 2011

Orleans



Note: the Cherry Road deli first appeared in my poem Creatures Of The Sea.

On Cherry Road, near Catalpa,

Is a little deli.

Joan of Arc leads her horse inside and down the narrow space between the counter and tables;

He is white and magnificent.

His hooves are loud on the tiled floor, his eyes large and brown, and he snuffles and tosses his head once

As if to say,

Yes,

I am beautiful in my blue blanket with the gold fleurs-de-lis,

A fine steed for knight or saint.



Joan of Arc herself is tired and wounded, but her gentleness with her mount never fails,

And it hurts her to tie him up out back

Near the dumpsters.

When she comes back in, the Pretty Girls having lunch there say,

Look at her,

That haircut.

Those clothes.

She smells.

Omg.



Joan of Arc cannot read the menu.

She pauses uncertainly, and the Pretty Girls giggle, just loud enough to make sure she hears.

Rod McKuen, the famous poet, owns the deli and he smiles as if he were a love poem himself;

When she hesitates, he suggests the roast beef on French loaf.

Certain breads

(he says)

Rejuvenate the soul.

Certain cheeses

(he continues)

Revive flagging spirits.

He points to each one as if touching the well-loved skin of a long-time partner,

Describing each

In gentle words that would make the hardest churchman weep.



The Pretty Girls are scandalized.

Open-mouthed, they look back and forth to each other.

He's talking to her.

Horse chick.

With the weird hair.

Omg.



Joan of Arc sheds holy tears.

Her wounded shoulder bleeds.

The drops fall to the glass of the deli case and form shapes--

St. Michael.

St. Margaret.

St. Catherine.

Rod McKuen fixes her a sandwich with the same reverence he would use in composing verse,

Then slides it on a plate across to her

Along with a cherry Coke

As if it were the Host.

He adds an apple

"For your friend."



The Pretty Girls all get up and leave,

Their matching shoes and handbags from London making them look just like

A defeated army

In astonished retreat.

_______