At the Way Station for the Afterlife – A Poem

At the Way Station for the Afterlife

There is a nun named Amanda
naked in the shower
upstairs
at the Way Station for the Afterlife and
each drop of water is singing
hail mary
as they splash sanctimonious against
her fair skin.
I am spending time in the common room
below
with an old former Baptist
who converted
to atheism when he saw the sun rise
over the meadow fog
and over his dog
lying dead on the porch from a gunshot to its side.
His name is William (the old man)
(never learned the name of the dog)
but he goes by the name Slow Bob.

Slow Bob said there was no right in this universe
for what happened to his dog.
“No right at all.”

No sir.

Amanda comes down
dressed in gray sweats and
with a towel wrapped about her hair.
She smells dangerous.

A family man at a nearby table
focuses his attention
on the sliced banana in
his cereal.
I am not sure of his name.
Or anything really about him.
Only that he likes sliced bananas.
And he likes reading Tolstoy.
I think.

(Or some Russian author.)

Amanda comes and sits next to me
and lights a cigarette.

“Does it always need to sound
like fucking bells
every time you take a shower?”
Slow Bob asks.

I think he is sweet on Amanda.
Just that we all have our ways.
“Fuckin’ Bobby…” Amanda laughs
blowing the smoke
over the table
and in my grapefruit.

“It’s annoying.
You catholics have no respect
for others.”

Blame jesus.

“Yeah Bobby. Like he said.
blame Jesus.”

Jesus.

There is a commotion in the kitchen.
Something drops and someone yells.
A German man and his teenage daughter
run the kitchen.
(It’s she who yelled.)
Some people rush over
to crowd the door
and peer inside.
Hoping to find something scandalous.
Perhaps the daughter has
a secret lover
at the Way Station
for the Afterlife.
And they sneak into each other’s room for
illicit trysts that tear at the German Kitchen Man’s
heart
and reputation.

Amanda rubs the towel
violently over her head and
takes it off
so that her hair falls
red
wild and wonderful.
Fragrances of midnight pears
cascade and enchant me
as she draws close
leans into me
smells my neck and whispers
in my ear.

I put my hand on hers on the table.
Squeeze it just a bit.
Hardly noticeable.
But Slow Bob notices.

“What did she say?” He asks me
full of suspicion.
He has grim eyes and a sharp nose.
Wrinkled cheeks
and brow.
His tie is loose about his neck.

“Oh Bobby,” she says into my shoulder
and her body pulls back slightly.
She smiles at me
and winks.

My Epiphany Train is coming in.

“Epiphany Train?”

“Epiphany Train!” Amanda yells and laughs.

“Isn’t that a damnable thing,” Bobby says
reflectively.

“Fire and brimstone, Bobby,” Amanda replies
staring at me.
Her eyes a seductive green.
She moves her hand underneath the table
to my thigh.
My heart races.
My breath becomes shallow.
“Fire and Brimstone.”

It comes tomorrow morning to collect me.

blame jesus

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Alien – A Poem

Alien

Alien we wrap around each other
blankets to obscure our fate.
But the cold still seeps through.

Our nobility has fled into the recesses
of an iron cage leaving us
bound together.
Our bodies restricting our desire.

Birds flock into and fly from
the shuttered factory
and we see them also aloft
above the valley
white gray and black silhouettes
under the evening clouds painted
pink orange and red.

Faceless denizens of the desert
find us sleeping and
rummage through our castoffs:
Clocks that stopped long ago
maps of lands long past
words no one remembers
music no longer heard.

We have reached the opposite side
of paradise
standing together as the mist
of the nearby falls
covers us in a new baptism.

Little Miracles – A Poem

 

Little Miracles

I read and you are irritated.
It smells poignant. The air swells and is heady.
Your perception is clouded.

The eggs have been cracked and you drop them
one by one
(yokes only!)
into the batter.
Mixer blades turn in patient fashion.

You forgot to put on your apron.
I remind you. Flour is layered over your shirt.
Your lips twist into a broken smile.
A soft splintered laugh escapes.
I open a bottle of wine and pour us both a glass.
The wind chill outside warms the house.

I hate the smell of smoke on you
you say.
I hand you your drink.
Attempt to brush off the flour.
It drifts about idly between us.
Fogs our confusion.

There are little miracles playing.
Amiably with violent voices. Sunlight
brightens the counter.
You pat my cheek and tell me I need a shave.

Into metal pans you pour the batter.
In the oven the cakes
like kingdoms
will rise prophetically.
I never want to bake again
you lie.

We will escape then
I say
pack up our marvels in our coat pockets
see how the moon sinks
under a winter sky.

You blush. Brush away my words. Finish your wine.
Place the glass in the gluttonous sink.
Don’t be an ass
you say
our marvels are too large
for coat pockets.

The Room – A Poem

 

The Room

And with that she exhales
innocence
her mind surveying the emptiness
of the room
where the shadows laugh in cocktail dresses
and the blooms of yesteryear
sweep buoyantly
the eye’s attention.

There are olives in the Mediterranean
bowl resting peacefully
forgotten
in the midst of all the sparkling exuberance.
Golden decadence ribboned red
lauds the dancers
who sway
like snowfall over cracked ice.

Her lips tremble
heart fluttering between the friends and lovers
where the solitary
barbarism
filling the room
gathers nocturne desires
growing full and ripe
in isolation.

A shiver creeps into the caverns of her bones.
Humanity stripped naked
bares his teeth
before her
his wild animalistic face
masked in pious
purity.