poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Monday, September 24, 2007

August Monarchs

Heavy garlic smells fly
from the little pizza place on the corner
to where I sit alone
in a coffee shop courtyard with fine parking-lot views.
You asked me not to smoke today.
Just try it, you said. And I try.

A dirty stranger sits at my table.
I am salty and blue, he says
and French- for five dollars, just
hoping to get a couple of good days
between the yellow lines
on the trail of books and hooks.

I drink my coffee, still not smoking
with this man who smells and talks crazy. I watch him
as he moves carefully, as he washes
in waves of garlic and sunshine.
Yes, it could be the library’s fault, sending
out boxes of guts and midsections, he said. You know,
the other day, every time I stopped, all
these big orange butterflies would land on me.
He pulls a black and gold butterfly gingerly
out of his grimy pocket. He blows on it and
it flies towards the pizza place on the corner
like a miracle. Maybe it likes garlic.
I offer him a cigarette and he very politely declines,
he says he's recently quit. He soberly advises me to do the same.


Eggy said...

I like it. Lots of juicy tension. The butterfly is a good image... The vagabond character is a recurrent device, isn't it? As in, perhaps, the theme is living with the self as constantly external and foreign and sadly unattainable?

Eggy said...

Here, even the self's self is the butterfly fluttering away...