The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Heddy Reid
This Caribbean heat batters you
till your mind is a soft green melon
here among the blossoms and billy
goats. Empanada vendors tease you
with their sing-song calls as you walk
your melon to the beach and center it
on a towel.
Waves of liquid sighs
foam closer, and you drift as soft-hipped
women sway past, so many ample, half-
remembered figures by the sea. Men,
irrelevant, unfathomable, roam the beach,
scouting and preening, their lunch pails
bumping between their legs, and neon fish
ripple bright sea grasses.
It's all still there.
Making it Happen
First the silence
grows either mold
or nose hairs, those
tufts of substrate
that beg to be trimmed
back, an unruly bed
grown to seed. Then
come the mental
with their smiles and
of first names. Yes, Tom,
I see. Can I ask you something,
Tom? Were you trying to injure
yourself, or did the clippers
slip? That poses an obvious
danger, Tom. And why hedge
clippers? When did the hairs
become so unruly, Tom?
Tom sighs, swallowing
blood and wishing only
for peace and quiet.
It gives him satisfaction
to know that black mold
is overtaking his good shoes
there in the dark closet of silence.
It Passes the Time
Later that afternoon she soaks
herself in stout, followed by a Merlot
rinse. Not a drinker, she is content
to smell of booze. After bathing
her feet in a pail of cheap bourbon,
she finally emerges, redolent
and ready to roll. She dresses
and hurries to an AA meeting,
where, invited to share, she says,
"I'm Crystal and I'm not an alcoholic."
"Jesus," some guy groans. Savoring the
eyerolls, she leaves early. "Keep
coming back," a kind woman whispers
earnestly. Crystal high-fives her. "Oh, yeah."
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