Monday, September 19, 2011

A.A. 1998 (a poem)

It’s awful this morning. The windows are gray,
air pinpricks skin with cactus familiarity.
I do not recognize the disease.
The mattress is torn and the gods of love
are nervous. I cannot sleep here.
You left me huddled between pillows,
soaked in liquid thoughts.
These aren’t notes I dare sing.
I’m typing this far from the wagon’s table.
The coffee is tepid in the mug,
your lipstick still smeared red on the rim.

My fingers strum the aluminum can
of an imaginary beer. This is the melancholy
of poets, balancing bar stools
on the tips of our noses, clowns
packed into Volkswagens
twelve to a case.

The greeting card would say, I miss you.
Blake would ask, Did He who made
the Lamb make thee?
I just need to know
where you hid the keys
to my car.

Copyright ©1998, Angel Zapata

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11: One Possible Future (a poem)

It’s no longer the cosmic shock
so much like late frost kills early buds;
but rather acceptable sadness,
the realization all leaves fall.

It’s no longer the rhythmic flag sway
(America this, that, or them),
the extravagance of anger
became a cross, a mosque, a scar.

It’s no longer about people—
twin towers are labeled: Data, Debris;
ashes in barrels and potpourri bowls,
such casual causalities.

The ground went from zero to sixty;
clock hands hid seconds, seized time,
shook sand over sleep-swollen eyes—
now nothing more than holiday.

It’s a calendar X, a movie, game—
that’s the cold, hard reality;
check this box to initiate pain
and pilot those ill-fated planes.

Copyright ©2011, Angel Zapata

This poem was inspired by the Poetry Matters Celebration word prompts: Reality check, pain, sadness, shock, anger.