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Two Poems
by Lisa Veyssiere

Courtesy Call

After this I'm not bothering
to check out my window.
But look, I've seen it today and now it's too late.

Margaret, there's a witch at your door
some things she doesn't care about are your blood and your soul.
She didn't hear that brown is the new black. Still,
don't be disarmed. If you are kind,
she will open a vein to show you the antifreeze.

I'd shut that door if I were you.

Think back hard now
(it's hard, I know)
when your Daniel and my Joseph were three
and not even their fathers were old enough for a war
it couldn't have come to this
not even when we were drinking it could have come to this.

They finished, ok. They finished school
and the job at Brinks paid something.

We had boys. They never played soldier, or even-
we weren't even those neighbors who cooked burgers on the 4th.
Even if we had paid attention, it would have still come to this.

I see you flip the channels
through unshuttered windows.
The Hefner mansion, the Real World, cooks in New York City
anything not Fallujah not Kandahar,

and wait for something dark to flicker between our lawns.

Gaslight at the Arroyo Secco

I alarmed you on Thursday, but these things happen.

Do you remember
when you were a boy prince and I was a caterpillar
not a princess
(I never got these things right)
Anything Can Happen Day was a Wednesday
on the Mickey Mouse Club.
We ignored it and ate vanilla wafers
and oh, then later everything happened.

It's not a long drive from Whittier to Riverside, but it's not a lovely one either.
That's not even the thing I'm sorriest that you had to see.

The pay phone outside the Dew Drop In, broken!
And the jaundice lighting of the rooms inside.
I'm so sorry.

Did you see, as we left, the small moths on the siding, under the exterior lights?
they fly overland from the creek bed behind the motel. The whole of the Mojave is their oyster
and still they land here.

Talk to me some other time about making better choices.

I smoke on the way back to show you I don't care
not about what happened in the room or even before that
the how it all started part.
Instead I look into the lighted night and remember
the report from the seventh grade
how moths don't fly on full moons
and I think we have eleven, twelve days before then. That hope
then rests in this order of things I can't crush with my small sharp heel.

These are the days in the time when anything can happen.

About the author:

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Midnight Picnic
a novel by
Nick Antosca


The Suburban Swindle

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