poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Layovers
csey

“I migrate a lot from state to state,
 1
you know?” she said, thumbing tape
 2
to a wall affixing a calendar
 3
of stock photos
 4
of tulips and Mount Rainier
 5
and sunny landscapes in January.
 6
 
 
eyes fixed to her work, her nape
 7
smelled of cigarettes and
 8
Garnier Fructis, with glued-on
 9
fingernails coated cerise—
 10
the kind, i wondered, would
 11
preclude wiping one’s own ass—
 12
 
 
when the memory intruded
 13
through the door;
 14
sister wearing fake nails came crying
 15
in my room; an expired lease
 16
and attempted rape and gratitude
 17
when she borrowed the bed to hide
 18
 
 
and i, beneath sleep’s skin,
 19
allowed several maudlin minutes
 20
to skim across the scurf,
 21
dreaming in an empty bathtub
 22
how redolent of
 23
waylaid flights and layovers
 24
 
 
most events are to destinations unknown.
 25
in those reveries, below flew by
 26
rooted trees and black mulch and
 27
murky rivers between serrated hills
 28
and the languid lake pandiculating,
 29
its paunch heavy from devouring
 30
 
 
so many rowboats that came
 31
afloat mum in the night,
 32
22 years ago, out of earshot of
 33
mortars and soldiers into Croatia;
 34
or those discovered asleep in trunks
 35
as cars tiptoed across the border,
 36
 
 
like a father in ruth,
 37
deserting his degree, the army,
 38
his siblings, his land,
 39
the hand on his shoulder
 40
dribbling sooth onto his clothing:
 41
he was no less a tartuffe
 42
 
 
for his children’s unorthodox
 43
names. What reason was left for
 44
2-hour lines to trade a VCR for
 45
a bag of flour weighted with salt, or
 46
2 eggs laid by greedy hens, or
 47
cowering misers
 48
 
 
redrawing their home's borders
 49
using the cracks in the concrete,
 50
when your kids stood eyeing
 51
the jackknife cut a Hershey’s square
 52
into even halves and hugged
 53
their soup bowls as property?
 54
 
 
Had only the station been open,
 55
arriving in Florida on Thanksgiving,
 56
sick from the heat.
 57
Were only the help desk open
 58
to print the round trip ticket
 59
for New York a year later.
 60
 
 
If only someone had taped
 61
a calendar to count the days
 62
in the Banyan Tree motel,
 63
where the daughter nearly fell
 64
and drowned in a lake and son
 65
woke in spells from dreams of
 66
 
 
playful red dots and windows
 67
and bathtubs and shells
 68
and the caramel he stole
 69
from the grocery store, as well,
 70
until decades later in New England
 71
he stuffed a Werther’s in his mouth
 72
 
 
and tasted stations on Thanksgiving day,
 73
the sidewalks in Christmas movies,
 74
mint and Hershey kisses,
 75
and steaming bathtubs,
 76
and—well, i know what the wrapper says,
 77
but it’s i-don’t-know-what.
 78
 
 
she turned to me and laughed,
 79
placing her glued nails to my shoulder
 80
when i told her how filling my lunch is
 81
and which food is good for traveling;
 82
“Where are you from?” she asked,
 83
“I grew up in Florida; I can relate,"
 84
 
 
i smiled, later walking to my car,
 85
passing by replanted nard
 86
bombarding the lot under
 87
cloudy backdrop and foggy Cascades
 88
and rootless evergreens,
 89
feet tucked neatly beneath repaved sidewalks.
 90

6 Jan 18


(define the words in this poem)
(3 more poems by this author)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

0.358s