Roger Pfingston


Beside themselves with the urge,
these are the ones who risked love
and lost, became February’s litter,    
undone perhaps by a moment
of star gazing, more likely blinded
by beams of speeding light, the air
suddenly fouled by their demise.

Heading south, he counts ten             
in the first forty minutes of his
two-hour drive, finessing the wheel
to dodge each striped corpus,
hoping to arrive with nothing more
than the scent of his gift                                
when she opens the door.



Double Pleasure

Seeing that we had finished

our Double Pleasure, the waitress

hurried over, her sweet attention

the usual service in the China Star.

Very good, we said, nothing more,

thank you. I will return, she said,

with jungle kiss. We looked

at each other, puzzled,

trying to guess what might

sound like jungle kiss:  not bill,

not check, not fortune cookie.


Maybe Uncle Bliss or something this,

but what might that something be?

And what could Uncle Bliss have to do

with our bill? I reasoned if they,

the Chinese, could come up

with an entrée titled Double Pleasure,

why couldn’t it be prepared by a

seasoned cook, affectionately known

as Uncle Bliss? And was he about

to make an appearance?


When she returned, bill in hand,

we considered telling her what

we had heard by way of asking

what she had said or thought she said,

but chickened out, fearing it

might be offensive. We left

feeling gifted, grateful, wishing later

we had lingered a while longer

to savor our linguistic serendipity

with a cup of plum tea.

Roger Pfingston's poems have appeared recently in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Hamilton Stone Review, and Naugatuck River Review. A new chapbook, A Day Marked for Telling, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. He also has poems in the recently released And Know This Place:  Poetry of Indiana, published by the Indiana Historical Society Press in Indianapolis.



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