Tag Archives: poetry

Poems from the Loo

Poems from the Loo

Catherine A. Coundjeris

I thought it was important.

Zoom, zoom far away and long ago

when I was flying high above the clouds

on a journey to England from 

my home in Maryland.

Head full of old English poetry

and visions of plum pudding

and clotted cream dancing in my head.

I thought it was important

my first flight ever and I packed 

all the poetry I had ever written

in a white plastic bag that I carried

without a care in the world with my grey purse

on board the airplane.

Mother said, Careful, you will lose it all,

but I didn’t believe her.

I thought it was important

on a six-hour flight.

Dinner in a basket and  

I tucked the basket and green apple 

into the white plastic bag 

to keep for later

and then landed at Heathrow

Zoom, zoom onto Victoria station.

I thought it was important.

Bags and all

picked up by George and Maureen

And whisked off to their London flat.

A nap and a holy dream

of stone castles and grey skies.

Then a trip to the fish market

to buy our salmon dinner

and to get some fresh air.

After a bowl of olives

I thought it was important.

My appetite turned to the apple

as I realized the white bag was gone.

All my poetry was lost!

George took me to Victoria Station

and there in the loo the

Jamaican caregiver told me

I thought it was important.

She had tucked it into her

cleaning closet for safe keeping.

Basket and apple and poems.

George more knowing than I

gave her a large tip

and I was forever grateful

to George and that beautiful woman

and her lovely words.

I thought it was important.

What was lost was found again!

Those lyrics echoed in song

 forever in my mind:

Poems from the Loo.

photo by Harry Rajchgot

TRICKS

TRICKS

John Grey

Pick a card.
Any card.
Let me guess.
It’s the sunlit oak trunk
of Canadian forests.
No wait,
I see red-shelled bedbugs
and the suit…
the flag of storms.
Now put it back
among the tender people
and the loudmouths,
the revolutionaries
and the computers.
Let me shuffle.
Pick another card.
It’s the black misted canyon
of New York hotels.
Am I right?
Stop shaking your head like that.
I know it’s thousands of people in pain
of the metal finger cymbals.
I’m sorry.
You were expecting
the ten of clubs or something.
But I’m not a magician.
You don’t even need
to pick a card.
I can tell you it’s
the penumbra of reckless cancers
or the weakened eye
of Capitalism’s forefathers.
Okay, no more tricks.
I’ll just hand you
the last thing I wrote about you.
No, don’t shuffle it.
Don’t ask me to pick a card.
If you know it’s the
white-capped waters
of love long passed,
then what’s left for me to say?

photo by Harry Rajchgot

Of Autumn

Of Autumn

for Josephine

Rose Maloukis

light—

days when the wind

floats branches on the far

side of the park, 

pushes slow and rolls 

light onto leaves—

they bow, turn, lift 

their shoulders I

I cannot look away

your shoulders

light brightens—

naked yellow lapping 

the last warmth 

before stepping 

into cold corridors

little little girl in light

determined, walks

with her father—

he glances at me

you glance at me

light—    

photo by Harry Rajchgot

Things Fall Off

Things Fall Off

John Reed

Things fall off and roll under other things. 

And sometimes they break when you’re almost done. 

And then you’re late but you have to go back. 

And people think they’re being so clever. 

And the cords are tangled just out of reach. 

And what should we do with our precious time?

And what would we do without Novocaine?

Maybe eat with our hands, much too loudly. 

Maybe ask our frenemies for more money. 

Maybe take the extra party favor.

Maybe flip the switches and hitch the latches. 

And itemize what we can’t leave behind. 

And scream in tunnels on the sleeper train. ⠀

photo by Harry Rajchgot

Climbing Mount Royal, 2020

Climbing Mount Royal, 2020

Peter Richardson

You’re twitchier than usual coming up this path

that shadows the curves of Camelien Houde road

but at least you’ve sloughed off the windy effluvia

of other people’s sidewalk breath as you slowpoke 

up the last three turns to the guard-railed belvedere.

Here’s where muscle cars idle in parking spots. Fans

of flaming tailpipes pass blunts between leather seats

till someone coughs which sparks a round of guffaws

and loud heckling. You remember that kind of a scene

taking place five decades ago in someone’s apartment.

Can it really be that long? Taj Mahal and The Doors

provided background music in the last years of a war

that ended on an embassy rooftop. You sat in circles

in rooms reeking of patchouli oil, while somewhere

graduate students struggled onward to their degrees.

You wonder if the guys in that Camaro give a crap

about becoming accountants or even laying cement

so it doesn’t crack after the first frost. Looking east

to Rougemont, you attempt to quiet your thoughts,

seeing them as clouds hanging over Mt. St-Hilaire.

At last, you stumble onto the Olmstead summit loop

with its west-facing glimpse of Lac St-Louis. That,

surely, is what you came for—a far off panorama 

of shoreline and river that just keeps on flowing

beyond jammed ICUs and sleep-deprived nurses.

Aren’t they the ones you should be saluting 

as you head for Beaver Lake, Tu Fu’s Selected

riding in your back pocket? All honour to that 

frail court advisor who, despite bouts of asthma,

penury and near-death treks over snowy gorges,

could praise the hoe he used for digging wild roots.

photo by Harry Rajchgot

Françoise Singing

Françoise Singing 

Peter Richardson

It blindsided them and ended the awkward

talk they’d been making when finally they

rustled up three cups of over-steeped tea

and sat across from her in recycled air

in the long-term care canteen—bald

son-in-law and grown granddaughter.

Wasn’t Françoise down to three words

of greeting? How could she sink a shaft

far enough down in her mind to recoup

this tuneful blues banisher? If pressed,

her visitors might’ve said they sensed

a slippage to a crowded kitchen table

on, say, a Sunday in Montreal’s vanished

Faubourg à mélasses, her father tapping

a glass for her to sing a snatch of Piaf.

The war in Europe over, rationing ending,

butter on the table, mint jelly, leg of lamb,

her kid brother and sisters called to order

by the faux-gruff father. But that’s fantasy.

This is Françoise at ninety, holding notes

in a lunchroom with no one to press record

just two maladroit listeners trying to field

what’s thrown to them—flats and sharps

that peel through air—sonic tchotchkes

that won’t come again, much less a medley

for the dazed father-daughter duo who clap

with hands that don’t know what else to do.

photo by Harry Rajchgot

Promenade

Promenade

Peter Richardson

I used to be able to lope along at the clip my daughter’s maintaining,

the younger one—fifty years my junior—cruising a step ahead

as we cross St-Denis. I tell her I’m bemused by the speed

with which she eats up ten blocks, then twenty and I remember

my father asking me to speak up, to repeat what I’d just said.

Can you please slow down a bit? I ask, and she decelerates 

before zooming ahead again. My father’s early hearing loss 

brought out the callous teen in me. I wanted him to try harder

as if he had a character defect that would get better if he made

an effort. Are you going to a fire? I ask. She sighs. We approach

Parc Jeanne-Mance. I used to be as fast as you. These days

I have to double-time to gain the half step I need to keep up.

My hearing’s shot too, I say, which she claims has more to do

with my not listeningthan with needing space-age hearing aids.

And what does pretending to be deaf have to do with dawdling?

she asks, as we dogtrot across Parc Avenue and up the brick

walkway past the gazebo. Was I ever this rude with my father?

I bow to her peppery wit. She’s fed up with my non-sequiturs,

my failure to listen when she and her mother talk in that elided

mother-daughter French which, although always grammatical,

leaves me in the semantical dust—but isn’t it up to me to hustle,

to cinch in my belt and listen with renewed zeal in the new Babel?

photo by Harry Rajchgot

kingdom of nil

kingdom of nil

john sweet

grey on grey in the kingdom of nil,

and kay would understand this

you escape only to return of

your own free will

you dream of suicide

of windowless rooms

within windowless rooms

doors that open onto

endless variations of your

lover’s naked corpse, 

and is there still the possibility

                                      of joy?

quietly, maybe

cautiously

the future always

remains a possibility, 

the past can always be

torn down and built again,

                             or this –

we are only ourselves, but we

can learn to be flawless liars

we can keep saying i love you

until it finally means something,

but you knew this already

you came back again

only to plot your escape

only to prove how easy it

was to leave me behind

i don’t feel anything no more

i don’t feel anything no more

john sweet

the death days,

everywhere and always

the decorations hung, but

most of the lights burnt out, and so

fuck the past and fuck

the present

ignore the future

you will fall in love, yes, but

fear will always be the stronger emotion

the house,

collapsing slowly

the drugs your children take to

help them forget you,

and listen – 

christ’s hands are too small to

hold all of the

pain we cause each other

these cities are destined

to become deserts

man builds a house 

just to set it on fire

buys a gun and then

shoots at the sun

understands that there can never 

be anything more

terrifying than hope

almighty

almighty

 

john sweet

 

two in the afternoon and

cold enough to understand the

meaning of hell

 

corpses of children still

smoldering in frozen ditches

 

dogs sick, dogs starving and

always the need for a

war that will leave only

          peace in its wake

 

always a clock running

backwards in an empty room

 

fields full of anonymous

bones and nothing beyond

them but more of the same

 

Cosmology of Beat

Cosmology of Beat 

Rana Bose

In the Cosmology of Beat

            there are back-bent cars parked on roads, detritus beside lampposts.

Rooftops above the Five-spot, with curling smoke,

           rising,

           rising from black-grey still-shots on walls of poetry on fire with desire,

uppermost in the narrow corridors of prized lofts,

           going for cheap.

                                                                                                                                                   

Still-shots of a messiah standing slouched, 

           Spouting, pouting defiantly 

on Wooster and Bleecker,

                      mumbling!

Mumbling Sanskrit slokas

Le Sang des Poetes painted on the walls.

                                                                                                                                                   

Leroi Baraka, 

           the lone gunfighter,

           pensive in a loft up there, or

standing in the wings or

           leaning against a piano 

           that weeps and faints,

           that weeps and faints

as he begins to recite-

           the tale of his baptism by bop,

           in a black and white space, 

           septic, surrounded 

 by Peter and Jack, 

           pounding on Underwoods

fuelled by whisky,

           with handwritten labels.

                                                                                                                                                   

In the cosmology of Beat,

           there are black iron stairs,

           that escape to below

           that escape to below

where sulks a twist,

           at the end of a martini,

at the bottom

           of the glassy pit, empty,

           as muffled horns screech to a cued stop,

for jalapeno and chips

 and a squeeze break

 for the needy.

                                                                                                                                                    

In the cosmology of Beat

           the mind sits,

armed only with a swizzle stick

Swirling the dust

           from the Buddhist tantra

That makes the cosmos

           sound like physics-

gone to shit.

                                                                                                                                                   

In the cosmology of Beat

           there is hope,

that the hum and the swirl,

           And the chance that

           a sound will emerge

and bulbs will sway

           and faces will turn,

In corridors

where whispers and chants, 

Once did ricochet.

                                                                                                                                                   

In the cosmology of beat,

           It is said that

           Beats will come

In technicolour, 

in ekta fuckachrome,

           beats from a bongo, a harp

a piano will bojangle-

           and bo-beep 

           from a sax on the edge of the metro,

           will tunnel down,

           will tunnel down,

and take you away

in a whoosh, 

far beyond

           any obsession with Om!

                                                                                                                                                   

Notes:  

Five-spot: Five-spot Café (1956-67), a café and performance space in New York City that featured cutting edge bebop and progressive jazz and attracted a host of avant-garde artists and writers.

Wooster and Bleeker: an intersection of two famous streets near Washington Square, Greenwich Village.  Bleeker Street was once a major centre for American bohemia and remains an important nightclub district; Wooster is home to many boutiques, restaurants and cultural institutions including the The Performance Group (later the Wooster Group), an experimental theatre company.  

Peter and Jack: Peter Orlovsky and Jack Kerouac

SPECIES-EUPHORIA

SPECIES EUPHORIA

Karen Ocana

                                                                                                                                                           

I am having dinner with a goldfish.

It is not a dream, my eyes are open,

the fish is looking at me, swirling

   solicitous of my solitude.

                                                                                                                                                         

It seemed rude to refuse the waiter

approaching with the fish in a bowl, 

as if I were some character in a

   story book. 

                                                                                                                                                      

The fish sizes up my curries and naan,

I eyeball its buoyant swishes,

our body language slides into

   complicated complicity.

                                                                                                                                                          

I raise my fork 

and something spasms

            a flash of molten gold rises

                        light cascades in the fish’s wake, 

            an improbable message

making its escape.

INVOLUTION

INVOLUTION

Karen Ocana

A Purolator truck drives by the living room window 

as you listen to Sam Rivers’ Involution and expect a parcel, 

expect it to contain a dehumidifier.  UV index reads 9/10 

and a heat warning is in effect.  Blinds are drawn, windows shut  

and you’ve been watching the drama of leaves 

fluttering in the breeze 

reflected on the grey wall 

as you work out 

how to translate 

certain key phrases.

You’re waiting for the delivery of a parcel, a dehumidifier 

and your dress is magenta, clinging to your damp skin 

as you translate certain key phrases 

in the book you find impossible to finish,  

the phrase about obsessively tracing hands 

across the new and old decomposing walls 

sitting still in the white space of a room 

listening obsessively to the rollicking riffs 

of Rivers’ Involution.

Key phrases in the evolution of the tenor saxophone, 

subtracting oneself from death 

like engraving in white-on-black 

the risk of a window. 

Camera obscura.

            How do we see, exactly?  

Listen.

            Heat rises from her middle like frothy magenta foam 

on a strawberry milkshake, and she dreams 

of fording a river on a steamy night in June,

her blue pencil scrolls, pacing, spacing the words, 

the meanings trailing with the ease of jazzic fluidity, 

horns, percussion, heat, voices, 

the apparent free flow of highly stylized phrases

those of the conversation

those of the hushed 

lush conversation 

when you tell me the events,  the dates,  the places,   the spaces 

you last heard music like this.

            The record ends in the shimmering shade 

            of the living room where the sun lingers 

            like the risk of a door opening onto the street 

            where a crowd rears its head and no one hears 

            the roar of the rivers that scream underground 

            day in day out, as potholes creak

            under the weight of ambulances.

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING

Karen Ocana

                                                                                                                                                                            Dear one, 

Have you ever wondered which came first,

the poem or the letter? 

                                                                                                                                                                            I cycle to the canal to meet you —

you, who still smoke half a packet a day;

(We met at a poetry reading five years ago

among books and fine speakers with so much to say.)

                                                                                                                                                                            We saunter and speak but rarely in iambics

more rarely still in swishy hexameters

at best in blank verse, citing common parame-

ters, our aches and our nagging pains emblems 

of the strained life we lead in a metropolis,

with deaths in the thousands from

this novel coronavirus;

How the people we love we don’t see anymore

How friends have left and we’re tempted to flee

How chain-smoking was only recently banished

When ‘twas once the source of grace notes such as 

            these:

                                                                                                                                                                             Du feu s’il-vous-plait

             Haben Sie Feuer, bitte

                        Baby won’t you light my, um, cigarette?

                                                                                                                                                                             A writer we both admire once wrote

A poem called How to Quit Smoking

Where Felicity, smitten with Fred

Punches Bob in the gob, I’m just joking.

                                                                                                                                                                            It’s a poem wherein, as you know, the rhythm flows along quite unencumbered by rhyme scheme, in no way or shape bending to preconceived pattern, balanced on the triple knife edge of pathos, irony and delirium, along which it tiptoes acrobatically, following lyric chords strung invisibly like tight-ropes within our cerebral cortex, upon which stories of love and loss leap and pirouette…

                                                                                                                                                                            leaving me breathless,

              speechless

with visions of a simile

                          (Go ahead and blame the pox of romantic cigarette advertisements if you will)

                                                                                                                                                                          “… like the smoky whorls issuing from the rosebud of your dreamy lips…” 

Christmas tree

Christmas tree 

Louise Carson

Snow squalls tear at petals

                                                                                                                                                            and you can’t see this miracle

of intemperate growth in your own back yard

or remember the slanting lane

(vision of men in flat caps

walking to work past brick warehouses)

where the parent tree began one spring –

                                                                                                                                                            or the granary shed

made of sun-burned hemlock and tin

in front of which where it never was before

winter’s magnolia

transplanted from city shrunken leaf-nude

is dream – flowering

                                                                                                                                                            angels and glass candy woven in.

the werewolf

the werewolf

Josephine Gawtry

it’s true that if we were in a storybook you’d be the werewolf. slouching around the kudzu on the perimeter of my yard at night, with the rabbits and groundhogs quivering in their viney coves, the deer still and wide-eyed across the old fence in the shady spruce knoll—illuminated only by distant headlights from the main road—i would look out my window and think i saw something moving out there. dismiss it as one of the mountain creatures, a fox, a black bear;

in the long farm grass we walk in springtime. ticks tickle our hairy girl legs. we find a stream with a sitting stump and a climbing tree and a bushel of wineberries. we stain our cut-up, nettle-stung hands purple and red, place the berries on each fingertip and suck them off, giggling. on our walk back we fiddle with sweetgrass and tuck eachother in our palms. i bring home wild onions and my dad puts them in the salad.

its winter and we wear jackets and go to the bakery. i choose an elephant ear and my dad asks why they are getting more expensive. looking outside at the freeway, i pant mist onto the window, spelling my name with the J backwards in fingersmudge. we go back to the house we can’t afford (the recession just happened) and my mom yells at me, in the harmless way that i am used to. i have my own room now and change my own clothes, still hesitantly. 

in summertime, i see the werewolf again. at the edge of the neighborhood, where the new houses are being built—among the concrete shells and loose nails, he stalks, blue eyes studying me. he is a mixture of tenderness, confusion, seduction. my dad calls from behind me, tossing a ball with my little brother, and i turn away, running back home. the sun will go down soon, and mom wants me back.

after my dad and i watch the fall thunderstorm on the equinox, i go to the new school with real snacks (not ice cubes) and a plastic playground painted all different colors. i am perpetually in trouble and when i am, my mom comes in sweating from the gym and grabs me by the wrist. i lie about being sick and read my chapter books so fast that i hate them for being so short. scholastic book fairs and swinging outside eat me alive, and my blood is so red and juicy i drink with them, gleefully smiling, my mouth full of baby teeth.

it’s true that if we were in a storybook you’d be the werewolf. i would walk out in the woods alone, sidestepping the boulders by the stream, my skinny child arms pushing mountain laurel branches aside and seeing you in the unfinished lot. i would run to you and feel your bristled mammal hair on my cheek. i’d bite off the honeysuckle tip and kiss your wolf mouth so you could taste the sweetness.

Card House

Card House

Josephine Gawtry

for 44 nights i stayed up until the sunrise: bird chorus weeping, in tito’s and tea with clover honey we hold sacred

and no amount of melatonin or cbd gummies would sedate me so: i stole Restoril from my sister’s drawer and fell blank on my bedspread. 

golden like every morning and evening. the maps started to lie, twisting the roads and Wal-marts together, got so stoned i started seeing your face behind the closet door, your wrists and ankles scarred by ropeburn

listen. the question you asked, among spring trees flowering: what made you?  i was raised in the card house, i am the forever queen of sagebrush and toothbrush. Flat white and chewed like gum.

DORIS IMAGINES A RELATIONSHIP IN THE GROCERY STORE

DORIS IMAGINES A RELATIONSHIP IN THE GROCERY STORE

R. Nikolas Macioci

 

It is in her head to meet someone new.

In the Kroger produce department people

pause to pull plastic bags from spools.

Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale drip

with perpetual water. A lean man

in khaki cargo shorts and a green golf

shirt strolls up beside her, reaches for a

head of lettuce, smiles, says hi, and walks

away. She hangs back then follows him,

stays at the top of the cereal aisle

while he grabs Wheaties from a shelf. He

turns, sees her and smiles again. This time

she wanders past him to the other end

of the aisle and disappears around the corner.

She’s embarrassed by brazen boldness, stands

still as if examining ingredients of a potato

chip bag and asks herself what best can come

out of this situation? Her chest hurts

from being desperate, from showing too much

vulnerability. Did she veil her face

with nonchalance? Was her need visible?

He’s two lanes down from where she’s checking out.

She can see only his head over impulse items.

DORIS AT THE HOLY BIRD BAR

DORIS AT THE HOLY BIRD BAR

R. Nikolas Macioci

She’s sipping a margarita when he

sits down at the next table with his back

to her. He’s wearing gray slacks, plain

twill tweed sport coat and shirt as white

as marshmallow. Her eyes keep going

to his neck as if to study its anatomy:

muscles, ligaments, tendons, but she is

staring at visible skin and hair touching

the collar. To change focus and distract

herself she looks around at Art Deco

glass, chrome, stainless steel, shiny fabrics,

streamlined geometric forms. Everywhere

she looks leads back to his neck. The

fascination defies ordinary explanation.

She wants to touch him, but it’s more,

it’s desire magnified, sensual need at

her fingertips the object of symbolic lust.

Again she attempts to look elsewhere

at the lacquered bar, inlaid wood, mirrors,

clean lines that bring her back again to his

neck. What if he turned around? Would

she feel the same? He finishes his drink

and leaves which breaks the spell. By

herself, she still imagines stroking his

hair, feeling her hand against his neck

like a hymn to passion.

MY TWO NOVEMBERS

 

 

 

MY TWO NOVEMBERS

 Abigail Warren

 

Not this freight train

barreling down from Canada

an unwanted guest

leaving mornings smoky

with a drunken sun

too tired to push

his belligerent fires

to that quivering hemlock,

standing erect as a boy

in 3rd grade who’s

pinched a girl

and is waiting outside the principal’s office

for punishment.

Not you, November.

The other one.

Where the pokeweed is still alive

with purple orbs hanging heavy,

trees still crimson

oaks, cinnamon.

No smell of fossil fuels,

but leaves gathered

in mounds where children

dive recklessly

in great leaps crackling

until some father gathers them,

and they blaze under a

November moon;

look close, the hydrangeas,

their fading heads droop 

like those sullen children, 

called in after evening’s play.

But let the children stay

let them gather leaves,

let them believe all this

will not end

LETTERS FROM HOME

LETTERS FROM HOME

Anna Kapungu

 

In the deserted days

Where the sun is my champion

And the blood thirsts for water

I tell the rays what I miss the most

Hear my breathing

Sweat drip down my back

My hands cracked  from the labour

Labour  without  gains

Split the grounds to pass the hours

Read the roads of my palms 

Roads that lead me back home

Then I receive your letters

Your words are like rain in the summer

Comfort my blackened heart

Feel the elevation of my spirit

My people,the force of humanity

I cannot pray to surrender my heaviness

I cannot cry to release my sentence

TALL GLASSES

Tall glasses

DS Maolalai

pouring our gin

onto icecubes

and limes.

enjoying              

the crackle

and crunch.

and summer

is trapped

by the walls

of our balcony;

the ice in a tall

glass of gin.

we lean back in tandem,

stretching like poolside

recliners. below us

the traffic is steady; locked

like a lime

in our ice. we stir

our tall glasses

with takeaway

chopsticks,

shifting the garnish

around.

IKEA

IKEA

DS Maolalai

on the floor of the bedroom

searching the carpet for screws

while the mattress stands over me

like the approach           

of a two-storey

truck. I slug a beer

and put it down somewhere

out of the way

on the carpet, (I know

before I’m done

I’ll knock it over). pick up a strut.

I work steadily;

place wood against

wood and screws

in holes. forget

where I left

the allan wrench. the screwdriver.

dust spews up

like spores out of mushrooms

or a movie

about discovering old cities – digging in, I find

forgotten books, dirty plates,

t-shirts and condom wrappers. outside

a broken box-spring

sits in the garden

and soaks – it will be there

at least a year

once we get used to it. the carpet

under the bed

thirty years fresher. I work

in spilled beer

and old receipts, hoping

to get things done

before chrys comes in

and decides we should change that

too.

Photo credit: Iris Yue, Unsplash

THAT BEACH, AGAIN

That Beach, Again

      I thought 

  to put a piece

    of the sun in

a standard business 

    envelope and

  then stamp that

        for you

  loved the sand

    and seasighed

        song under gulling wing     

        as your skin

    drank salty day

to firm the borders

between bold bronze 

           and more shy

porpoise belly bare

  a little later there

with moonlight smile

  you know exactly 

      what I mean

     or once meant

         to you too

        and I wish

  I had and sent it

  if in mere meta4

        but it’s been

               than 30 years

           it

IT HAD THAT SWING

Ed Ahern

 

My mother spent evenings listening to records.

Years of evenings.

78’s and 33’s, and only big band swing.

All named after the band leader.

The bands are largely forgotten now,

but there were Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey,

Woody Herman and Harry James,

Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.

My mother, widowed and jobless,

Played the music of her courtship,

Of a yet unburdened future,

At least twice a week.

I never liked the music,

But had nowhere else to go,

And absorbed it despite myself,

Melodies lingering decades later.

In cleaning out her house

I couldn’t throw away the records

And suitcased them back home.

Never played, almost forgotten.

They’re serious collectibles now,

Worthwhile selling off,

But I can’t discard the future

She almost had.