by Graeme Bes-Green

To That Other I

The symmetry of our schizophrenia
is absolute if plotted
like Da Vinci’s man. 
Cut me, do you too bleed?
Is your left hand not haunted
by a chimera
that taunts it with the actions of my right.

You leave the odd clue
but it always confounds,
you never explain–
offer nothing by way of introduction.
Some new outfit? An unfamiliar telephone number.
A subscription to a minor
interest magazine.

My half of our mind,
is of half a mind
to set a trap for you.
Crouch behind the shrubbery
at the penumbra of consciousness
and burst forth when you’re at your most loquacious,
break in with an admonishing Boo!

If you intend to continue to
ignore me this way–
be warned–don’t assume
that I’ll hang around.
Don’t think I’ll wave
or nod should we pass on the street,

don’t expect me to offer my hand.

Tourists Take a Late Lunch

Cheap little restaurant whore
waiting on this hungry table.
Your modesty is barely contained
by two stretched sheets of PVC plastic,
bound with taut elastic.
Are you the dish of the day
or just the cut-price service?

Spread yourself, centerfold; go down,
let them lay before us a dish
of crustaceans in the undernourished
tureen that is flanked by the bulge of your ribs
and the erect extremes of your pelvis.
Your mouth shall serve as the finger bowl.
Your thick hair, the serviette.

Love’s First Cut

She could no longer recall exactly when

she’d realized it was love.  Had it been

one of those forgotten mornings when the sun’s

first scarlet rays reflected with presentiment

against the sterile steel, like refracted light

in the cut faces of her grandmother’s

engagement ring; was it the rich crimson

river that they washed away each afternoon

which reprised romantic souvenirs, 

anonymous valentines from her youth. 

Perhaps an errant bolt of electricity,

a misdirected preparatory stun intended

for those hanging out or passing through—

had it sparked the twigs of lonely tinder

in her heart? Could it have been the loss

of innocence implied by the speckles

of blood and gizzard that each day dappled

their crisp white work suits?


© 2002 Graeme Bes-Green

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