William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

London Bridge

A full three hours before dawn, and the geese at the pond are already in an uproar. What starts them so, there in the dark? What fuels their urge and feeds their eyes at this hour? Their sound makes light of the intervening mile.

Waxed apples are a modern tragedy. Surely their trees would weep to see them. A truck hauling apples across the country is a chilled mausoleum. The driver is an undertaker full of biscuits and gravy. O, to be one of a truck-driving thousand, and survive on a diet of Shakespeare.

A lecherous man is too familiar with the tired grocery store cashier, a young woman frightened by his kind many times before, and driven to false eyelashes and long pink fingernails that click on the keys and snag on the threads of her faded blouse. She looks like a ghost who knows I am harmless. Her real face is wrapped in soft lace in her upstairs apartment.

They’re not home yet, the black cat says in the street as she greets us. I want to be fed. Her dogs are barking inside. They stand on the couch. What delight — for now. But if no one comes home, and they’re left all alone, their bark will become the call of the wild.

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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