Sunday, April 27, 2014

Poem: Attempt


In the byway of nightscape,
Isadora walks a huff,
checking her phone, checking her phone.

If Conrad means it, she’s in trouble.
If he doesn’t, she will cut his
pretentious hair and feed it to a
wood chipper.

She should have resigned herself to
cats, goldfish, something
moving but not linguistic,
something that wouldn’t
shake her up like a warm soda.

She buys a token and climbs the stairs.
The train runs on a ridge next to
the freeway, offering a view of
white and red corpuscles,
the Villa Robles trailer park.

She passes the warning sign and
paces twenty like a pirate,
turns east and looks for a
house with green lights.

Raises Conrad’s camera.
Zooms on the window.

He’s taking her from behind,
exposing the Viking tattoo that
she would love to extract with a
steak knife.

She holds her breath and
snaps the photo,
because she will need it, later,
when she gives him another chance.

But this is the problem:
she will give him another chance.

The train noses the
bend like a curious boa.
Isadora sets down the camera,
watches the light grow solar and
calmly walks into its path.

She flies backward,
lands on her tailbone and
flattens out in pain.

The squall of brakes.
A plane overhead.
A black face in the sky, cussing.

Her eyes fill up.
She folds like a wad of paper.

The face comes closer and
speaks words like pillows.
Faint smell of cigarettes.
She lowers her cheek to the
cement and watches the
train heading away.

From the collection Fields of Satchmo 
Photo by MJV

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