For the Monkey at the Bottom of His Glass

For the Monkey at the Bottom of His Glass

She slept on the edge
of the bed,
slumped in doorways,
drove with her arm dangling
out the window,
made love in wash rooms
in positions
he’d only read about,
back then.

He thought he saw her once
in Prague,
one evening just past sunset,
hustling around the amber-lit
corner
of an old stone church.

Perhaps she’s in Berlin,
smoking in an outdoor café.
Maybe that’s her voice
scatting with the blues
that pour from that mournful sax
blowin’ down China Alley.

He still sees
pieces of her face:
Her eyes in the windows of buses,
her lips
on collagen-injected women
who hawk perfume
in neon-lit department stores.

Like his other bad habits,
her essence oozes through the
burning mist of his first morning light,
when regret is bitter
like too-ripened fruit.

Yet, he still relives
that instant
when her dreams
became his monkey.

TJE

Ain’t That The Truth

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

John F. Kennedy

New York, In the Rain, Before the Fall

New York, Before the Fall

Jackhammers pound the morning awake.
She props in a straight back chair
gazing out the open window
at a couple across the narrow alley
slowly undressing.
“We used to be like that,” she says.

Sirens throb down the New York street.

“It can’t end like this,” I say.
“We haven’t done Paris or Katmandu.
I haven’t painted your portrait.”
I’m losing it.
“I want to show you the Rhone Country,
make love in the Sierra.”

She pulls the red-spaghetti-strapped
taffeta dress
down over her head,
opens her compact,
powders her Italian nose.

The bellhop arrives for the luggage.
Elevator groans like a demon.
Smell of piss and garlic waft up the dank shaft.
Outside, rain batters the canopy.

Cab door blows open for her.
The driver plants her luggage in the trunk.
She slides inside and rolls down the window,
waves her boney-fingered hand.

“Wait,“ I plead.
“I want to write poems for you.”

The window glass climbs skyward.
Faint as I whisper
in a hurricane,
“Make them short,” she says.

TJ Easley