For My Ex-Husband’s Twin Sons (1)

featured in the poetry forum June 12, 2017  :: 0 comments

Summer 1996

That summer we still believed in astrology.
Anything could happen. I could learn to drive
stick shift. The Indian astrologer predicted that
my soon-to-be ex-husband would father twin sons,
mother unknown.

All summer stringy-haired women wandered
in and out of the apartment. The hems
of their long skirts were as frayed
as my marriage was. The women brought
bruised fruit and scotch-taped paperbacks of esoteric
philosophy stinking of patchouli. Home from work,
I drank Café Bustelo with whole milk.
One woman stood barefoot in the backyard,
warning me about the man I liked.
All she needed to know was his
birth date.

I imagined driving away with Balzac’s novels
in my trunk. I popped the clutch
and went nowhere.

editors note:

When Mercury is in the house, apparently, strange women come, too. (We welcome Marianne to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

To Eat the Rowan’s Fruit

featured in the poetry forum March 14, 2016  :: 0 comments

The rowan is the sign of the thinker,
its fruit as bitter and seedy as thought.
Thin, orange pulp barely covers the pit.
Birds and deer avoid the rowan’s berries,
eating them last, after the frost.

I once knew someone who claimed
to have eaten this fruit.
It was something to tick off his list
like the juniper berries he smoked
or the rainforest he later visited.

One must boil the fruit, strain it
through cheesecloth, sugar it,
ferment it, or serve it
as a jelly with gout-giving game.

But he never mentioned
how bitter
or seedy
the rowan’s fruit was
as if he had gulped it down,
without thought.

editors note:

Tasted better or tasted worse; before you bite, consider your source. – mh clay

At Meridian Hill Park

featured in the poetry forum November 2, 2015  :: 0 comments

Beneath the welcoming oak tree,
only a block from U Street,
we listen to cicada strings

as the ground pushes back
against our hip bones like suspicion.

Still Earth seems to forgive, her pulse fluttering.
She offers us water; instead, we drink
from tiny bottles we don’t recycle.

She will follow us home from the park;
we will be driving, listening to the old songs,

not thinking of her.

editors note:

We think she’s a pushover; take what we want. One day, she’ll do the taking… – mh clay