I know a Portland man…
his salt pepper beard taps and shakes
upon his breast bone; dun trousers sag
enfold his shanks…are ragged hemmed;
with dimmed eyes he squints to calibrate
chill coastal skies
some time long past he plunder jousted trees
hewed pines and hemlock for a living;
on instinct now with street grimed hands
he strokes wood fences benches…searches for
the grain, caresses for the plane, encounters splinters
once virile muscles dwindle atrophy
diminish neck chest arm thigh shoulder;
once limber feet no longer spring his stride
on timber loam sod bedded deep within
a forest edged with sea storm drench
that steamed his manhood
today he vagrants oil tarred wharves
where freighter…ship…and liners rock;
he…soiled…fastened as he is with old
breathes in a rank dank ocean where
he will…dream docked…age locked
intrigue my memory
Always… it comes down to
how badly we could be hurt
by whispers in the fine print.
What the hell…
we balance bright promise,
pain ease, smile…to brush away
side effects possible dire…grim
repercussions for a now relief.
Deus ex machina…
–ex. Snow coughed up coma
apple when her coffin bearer tripped–
can’t be trusted, for we’re on our own.
–ex. Dorothy looked behind curtains,
Gretel baked a raving cannibal…and
Cinderella…for a warning… pigeon
blinded her bloody footed sisters
against their duplicity.
Happily ever after…nebulous it
drifts…sleeps…dreams within us.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
who’s the fairest we can be
with one weird trick…the secret they
always they…those gods whispering
in machinery…want us to know
might cost us in the fine print.