by Louis Gallo
Suddenly the table appears,
poof, from, yeah, yeah,
and imagine, porcelain!
and, upon it, this bowl
of steaming Etruscan soup.
No spoons though.
Are we expected to slurp?
One must, when stranded,
always predict
what to anticipate.
It’s ok,
they’re thinking about us.
And we’re too ravenous
for manners.
* * * * *
She says, I want to impress
upon you how nothing it was . . .
the tip of a pencil point,
scintillant perhaps, perhaps
the hue of pale rouge.
The lousy part is they
have roots,
always the hairy barbs
that kill you.
And I haven’t told you
the worst.
* * * * *
I wriggle my fingers.
Abracadabra. Abracadabra.
Nothing yet.
Always the question
of how long to wait.
Unless eternity is relative,
like time, space and what’s the other one?
Look, it’s happened!
Shitty little twitch
on the horizon.
Always something
trying to manifest itself.
* * * * *
Here’s a book
that tells us there is no time,
it’s an illusion,
we don’t have to worry,
we can split for Pago Pago.
So stop taking those pills!
Look, the author’s picture
is disappearing
from the dust jacket.
They can do
just about anything
these days
what with lasers and all.
Back where I’m from
things were more solid.
And you got to hang around
for a while.
* * * * *
Well, it’s winter again.
Skeletal trees, crystals on the windshields,
heavy coats and boots . . .
Fuck, I say, give me the equator.
She catches a snowflake on her tongue
and dares me to chastise
December again.
Chicken soup and rice.
It’s a state of mind, she says.
Yeah, honey, abnormal.
The universe is very cold,
she sniffs–tears? a virus?–
only three degrees above
absolute zero;
but, imagine, we’re alive!
When was that, Jezebel?
* * * * * *
Little trinkets everywhere
falling from the sky.
A tiny plastic hot dog,
little books of proverbs,
paper umbrellas from Japan.
How has Mardi Gras
caught me so off guard?
I demand a Zulu cocoanut
from the King of Rex,
that masked, sequined dude
astride a palomino.
Another parade, he growls.
You some kind of foreigner?
Doesn’t matter,
I’m already knee-deep in baubles.
* * * * *
Every night she dreams
Che Guevara walks on water.
I think demons have beset her.
I think she needs that pill
with some chicken soup
on the porcelain table
that, poof, appeared out of nowhere.
Gotta face it, though,
we don’t have much to go on.
Never enough evidence.
The days fall randomly
like acorns.
You step on some of them.
Others burrow deep.
Hairy roots squirm
out of Che’s skull.
It can mean only one thing.
And we’d hoped for modern.

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