07 January, 2007

Erato or Thalia?

What follows is a poem I wrote a few years back, as Sariah and I were just getting to know one another. She was my inspiration then, my muse as I called her (she still is, BTW). I kinda like it. It goes so:


My name is shorter than yours
like one loose straw poking from the brim
of Uncle Henry’s fishing hat. A surprise
if you taste it: still sweet-green
after years of yellow from the sun
on Uncle Henry’s fishing hat. Listen

to the voices from the street. The girl’s
thin shriek pickled in peach brandy;
the piping bark of the dog, salty as ham,
like swearing; a very little laugh
not meant to travel. She is out without a hat

beneath a sky just waiting for morning. Why argue
if we have no answers, if the questions
won’t bring fine weather? Why ask
without a hope? Why look at me that way

through those glasses
cocked like Sinatra ordering a sandwich
at three a.m. That bird sees you.
The braying girl made happy
by the smell of new asphalt loves you too.
Have mercy. The sun may rise
as expected. For now, let’s watch the surfers
pack their cars, dreaming of sand
between half-open eyes. If you spread
your hands to me
I may crawl in.


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