Friday, March 27, 2009

The Magic Supermarket

I'm struck, trolling the supermarket here,
How friendly everybody is, how sweet,
And helpful. Are they not rushed off their feet,
Laid low by customers' demands, in fear
Of someone always watching the cashier
For penny-ante errors? You might meet
A nicer group of folks on any street,
But not in this world, where the stakes are clear.

Cashiers who joke with you, and send you on
To other, shorter lines? That's something new.
And managers who stop to chat with you
After you tell them that you're overdrawn,
Or that, come Sunday evening, you'll be gone?
There must be magic in the morning dew.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I could invoke the past, and if I do
The truth will show its face here, warningly,
As if to undermine sobriety.
I drink too much, thinking too much of you,
And you, grown violent, start drinking, too,
As though some sort of makeshift ecstasy
Will turn up in the dregs. It's misery,
As both of us will know, before we're through.

What happened, then, love? Did we meet too late
For anything to work right? Was it wrong
To choose the words of a romantic song
As our delusion? Could we still blame fate
For all this grief, or underestimate
The graceless posturing that keeps us strong?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Moon

This month, the new moon is an empty slate,
A dream of nothing. Hang a fever on
The crescent's point now — soon that will be gone,
As full moon, coming at a torrid rate,
Rounds out the fortnight, grown rotund and great,
But short-lived; like a lover pale and wan,
Now half again, and smaller yet, it shone
Then vanished, back to a potential state.

They say time is a trickster and a thief,
But things return to what they were, and soon
(Spring, winter, back to spring; noon, midnight, noon),
So turn the page. To mourn each falling leaf
Is just a fraudulent display of grief
That waxes, wanes, and waxes with the moon.