Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jessy Randall

Boris’s Girlfriend

She is walking up Columbus, her ruddy cheeks
mocking me, her beautiful legs winning every
speed race. I am left at the starting line, and
for some reason my lane has hurdles. This
woman passing me is almost definitely Boris’s
girlfriend; she is so pretty, sexy; she has
a stylish haircut and great shoes.
My immediate reaction, upon seeing Boris himself,
is to run: right through him, and on
beyond him. If only I had the presence of mind
to be more clever, to answer his question
“When are you coming over” with never; to
run by him saying “We’re on the road to nowhere”
instead of hello.

*previously published in Fresh Ink, 1997


In the dream the clouds stay still and the sky moves.
I desert my friends; I am in love; my love
deserts me and I am in friends. The friends
are all falling in love, like snow. But nothing
is falling onto me.

*previously published in Snowapple, no. 1, December 1999

In the Apartment of My Aunt

In the apartment of my aunt
is a glowing goose, eerily in New York
a bicycle, erotic photographs, the small
double bed of my aunt, who gave her milk
to my baby cousin when he woke up
so I could I play with him at six a.m.
in another house, pretend he was mine,
nap on the hammock in my jean jacket
and throw stones down the hill into the
pool, dark blue water, my cousin afraid
in the moonlight. The apartment has
always been there with the same view,
the same goose, the same subway stop
two blocks west, the same stairs
and puddles following the various babysitters
past the doorman and into the door

*previously published in Pierian Springs, Vol. 2, Ed. 5, August 2003

The Auction

At the Doctor Who convention in 1984
when I was fourteen and he was fifteen, David Kay
sat next to me at the auction and kept
raising his hand in the middle of the bidding.
As if he had any money; as if he wanted
the Sarah Jane t-shirt or the genuine
imported jelly baby candy. I kept
nudging him with my elbow, telling him
to quit it and wondering if there was
somewhere in the building we could for one second
be alone and kiss, and if on the way home
in the car driven by his mom if he would
hold my hand under his folded coat as
he did on the way there
I’d never been to such a big hotel
it had its own underground parking garage

*previously published in The Nepenthe Journal, April 1999

The Poem of Perfect

Somewhere in the cliffs of this bedroom
there is a perfect poem, intact, lying
asleep on a piece of paper, dreaming
of being read, of being read to, of being
in a book or in your mouth, of whispering
(love) soft words for you not to hear
This poem dreams, rises like a dragon,
breathes fire all over the place. What
is the poem’s dream? Who
is the poem sleeping with? Can
a poem sleep with you, even in a dream, all
I can do with words is talk, here’s me
and here’s a stack of pages as tall as me, which
would you rather get in bed with?
This poem can howl at the moon but I
can howl at you
like a dream
like a movie on your eyelids
We don’t need a perfect poem we have all this skin
and if you peel the skin away what is left but
perfect words

*previously published in Sparks, no. 27, Jan/Feb 1999

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