Laura Fargas


Life is like the man who tried cattle ranching
but his cows all laid eggs
so he tried poultry farming but he dropped the eggs
so he opened a restaurant.

No matter what we try to make
our cows sprout wings and fling themselves
gaily over the available moon
taking along the fiddle the spoons the cat to croon.

What lasts is the sheer simmering joy of transformations
a new vegetable in the same
old soup each night until the lightning strikes

and the whole mess rises up
to embrace the light and hot ions of its making
like a perfect souffle.


I loved twice and both were cheats.
I loved thrice and all were alcoholics.
I loved four times and each man is balding now.
I started once to love a boy whose father
was very famous, whispering, "I can't believe
I can have what I want."  And I couldn't.
And it's rude to start every sentence with "I."


Each with its habits.  Two that can roam,
one stuck behind fences.  One
that gets food for them all.  One that snores.
Two that care about ritual.  Two
fastidious.  All three incapable of offspring.
Rubbing against each other sometimes.
All three sprouting gray hairs and running less.

Laura Fargas is Washington DC poet who practiced occupational safety and health law for 27 years.  Her work has appeared in many journals, including Poetry and the Paris Review; her most recent book is An Animal of the Sixth Day (Texas Tech University Press).  She currently teaches at the Writer's Center in Bethesda. 



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