Impossible Client

I have written the name of your project on a slip of paper

and lit it on fire,
watched the flames as they caught hold,
seeking out, caressing
virgin white paper.
The flames left a trail in their wake;
transfixed, my eyes glued to its advance—
velvety grey shadows meeting
passionate red sparks and brilliant orange light.
All that remains, a pile of ashes in my hand.
I whisper your name and offer them up to the wind,
As sacrifice.
As tribute.
As plea.
The wind carries away your remnants,
scattering to all corners.
Nothing left now,

but smoke.


Shower Friends

Water sluices down on us,
ricocheting off black marble.
Soft gentle words speak in my ear,
sharing tales of those living in the wall.

Jaunty Pirate Bunny,
eternally in profile—see his nose?
His hat?
Pirate Bunny sails the water rivulets,
down the walls,
circling the drain,
searching for carrot loot.
(He won’t find any of that in here!)
Shh. Don’t tell him.

Austere Rat,
Not cavalier or chipper. Nobody
likes a cheerful rat.
(Everybody likes a cheerful rat.)
Not when he’s your dentist.

Moving on…

Eyes, horns, ears—
Upside-down floating cow.
(Maybe upside-down floating bison,
with the frizzy mane?)
No, upside-down floating cow!
So high.
Aliens zorped him up here,
that’s why.

Happy monkey
(You sure that’s not you?)
No, he is tricksy, so the confusion
is natural. Happy monkey,
(Smug Monkey)
sneaks up behind Pirate Bunny,
something clever up his sleeve.

Sad frog (Why is he sad?)
He’s a sprained hopper, flies
killed his mother.
Day and night he hops
and drinks (and drinks), out for
vengeance. For meaning.
For hope.

A gust of wind, a beak here,
windswept feathers there,
The Great Gun-Slinging Ostrich.
(You can only see his head. Where’s
his gun?) Look at him:
Grizzled, grim.
He’s packing heat.
Bringing order, keeping
peace, his great burden
to bear.

A small wet kiss, dropped
on the neck.
Don’t worry, Wife.
You’re safe with me.