The rain is splashing its change
all over the street. Bill's Laundromat
breathes the smell of humid
clothes. The Korean market opens
in red neon. In 1979 my eyes
emigrated from the Middle
East via bus. I see the color
of rain in Arabic, but my tongue
loses meaning in translation.
I am a witness being interrogated
by myself and I won't talk before
my attorney arrives. Trash cans
are shiny, new trees lining our curbs,
they grow every year. A cat was stuck
in one yesterday. My radio is a man
from Atlanta. Its warmth is lonely
and far away. These static people
scratch in and out like channel 8.
They once made me think of suicide
every night. Umbrellas yellow
the sidewalk. Licking the world's rough
palm, the cat, eats his reflection.
He is in stripes and I am wearing
my going out skin. Tonight, I am more
than an idea.
Poem for Frank O'Hara
If only cigarettes could be smoked
on the other side of the street.
It's been raining
for a decade even the sky is blue.
I have that looking out
Of the back window of a car hand
On the glass kind of feeling.
Today is so yesterday. Current
Events can't keep up.
Why am I telling you this
I can see from your eyes
and nightgown hair.
In 1966 you were thinking
of next Thursday as I'm doing now.
You might know this
was everything black and white
in the 40's? Your knuckles
smell of smoke and theatres.
That outfit is much too large
who will sleep with you now?
I am endlessly walking west inside
Of the movie inside of me
Searching for newer people.
Is this anything like you?
I'm in a Socratic mood
and you want to dance.
Let me have one more drink
and I'll explain this all again.
Sold Sticker Over the For Sale Sign in the Yard
Your 1974 brown couch's guts dandelion across your porch. Folded beer cans ding in a November square dance. We lost our virginity
on that couch in your basement seven and a half years ago.
We searched between the cushions but only found change. After you died the couch moved outside.
Does anyone still watch scratchy infomercials until cartoons? On Saturdays, I sit on the left side of the couch your legs no longer over mine. I bring the cheap beer we drank in high school.
I swipe the dust or snow or puddles of rain off the cushions onto the porch. I peel bubbled paint off railings, tap boot heels on whining slats and sometimes whine back.
The windows behind the couch look like the house across the street and me.
Your Chevrolet driveway has two trash cans in it and the corpse of a bird. It doesn't show any signs of a struggle. Your trees are undressed often and sometimes they're not aware, but today a bird sits on a high dead branch looking for something.
Logan Mayfield received a B.A. in English from the University of Utah. His poems have previously appeared in Enormous Rooms. He was the recipient of a third place poetry prize in the 2009 Utah writing contest. He spends most of his time between Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Portland, and Santa Monica. His poems are forthcoming in several places.