September 25, 2007

Works on Paper

It's the passion of the rhetoric gets me
The *whereas* hooking the small of my back,
a *therefore* pulling me closeró

but the stiffened snort against poetry, well,
what wouldn't I give to impair reason? A friend,
doctor of philosophy,

examines the cartoon bubble question marks
bobbing overhead like birthday balloons.
*Steer clear of the H's*

she says not unlike a psychic, her hand
held up to push my questions off my tongue
and back down to the heart

where lovers had been alphabetized by the Braille
suggestions of their thin spines instead of piled
up by the bed table's light.

But surely there must be a way to organize
a headache, a Shaker wall of drawers where herbs
hide, sealed away from air?

I browse through gracious living photographs
where a cat curls into a pouf on the stoop
outside the camera's eye

and the caterer reaches down her hand,
tsch-tsch-tsch, tiny quiches balancing
on her wide, saran-wrapped tray

listing, and still the right hand extended, index
finger first, tray slipping toward a boxwood
as the cat lifts her head.

—Kathrine Varnes
first appeared in Segue, issue 1.1

Posted by dwaber at September 25, 2007 12:09 PM