Doors

Before the hare, before the hole,
before the twisted dream,
there was the door, its frame petite,
its contents undisclosed.

Was she deceived?
Did she believe the world beyond
would match its portal’s size?

Or was it hope
that made her drink,
despite the waistcoat, watch,
and steep descent?
A rabbit’s warning cry?

Too late, I fear, too late.

How soon until we wake?

©2017 All Rights Reserved

Things Immaterial

I found a moth on my kitchen window,
climbing up the screen.
It was a large moth, close to an inch, I think—
I didn’t measure,
and it seemed confused
by endless mesh
beneath its legs, its feet—
fragile, if moths have them,
I didn’t check—
and morning’s heat,
the lack of exits,
how it became so impossibly trapped.

At another time,
I might have grabbed a weighty book—
Gray’s Anatomy, perhaps—
and disregarding frantic flaps,
each frenzied dodge,
would have taken aim
in memory of garments lost—
cashmere sweaters, silk shirts—
to their nestling appetites,
hatching broods.
Acrylic doesn’t suit their tastes.

But on this morning,
without a care for material salvation—
the artifice of dress, donned image—
I grabbed a glass instead,
possessed by instincts to
free, protect.

Its wings fluttered hard
against its new transparent jail—
momentary, but how could it know?—
then spread wide upon release.

On any other day, I would have crushed it,
for reasons that seemed right.

But not today…not today.

©2019 All Rights Reserved

Provenance

“Picture of Dorian Gray” by Ivan Le Lorraine Albright,

His car belonged to a Nazi.
Not a would be,
Or wannabe,
Or could have been,
Or clone,
But a Nazi high in rank,
A name you’d know,
And I forgot
The minute he smiled and said it.

He keeps it under wraps in his garage
To shield it from harsh winters,
Hungry salt;
But brings it out when sunlight burns
Each Independence Day,
To drive in the parade.
Crowds wave and sweat,
And he waves back,
Honking,
Drowned out by marching bands.

Afterward, he parks it by his house,
And beams as neighbor’s children
Ooh and ah,
And beg to climb inside.
He doesn’t balk, but
Makes them wash their hands
Of sticky cream,
And cheesy dust,
With disinfectant wipes.
He is insistent on this step,
Of course,
To keep the car pristine,
Interior unstained—
As if it could.

©2019 All Rights Reserved