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Read the following poems on Beltway

Drawing
Boy Away from an Island
My Own Place
For Noa
Congratulations

Read The Paloma’s Lament in Poets Against the War

100 Poets Against the War D.C. Poets Against the War

Published in the books D.C. Poets Against the War and 100 Poets Against the War and on the Poets Against the War website.

The Palomas Lament*

for Our President, January 23, 2003
Washington, DC

i cannot name you
son of sons
for you only go by the bastard of your middle initial

i can only ask you
how many palomas
white feathers
curucucú
must fall to win?

its minus sixteen degrees tonight
the next zip code over
i escape to the theater
away from your headlines
away from your ranch

i only ask you why a man of means
stayed so close to home
before moving to my neighborhood

Were you afraid of sand and outdoor markets?

Or was it the trill of another tongue?

now you embrace the last resort of the incompetent
despite halting words
from the civilized

nodding, i see you embrace your wife
confused
and happy your daughters stay on dry land
drinking to old papá
and his trigger finger

the weight of dead palomas
rests on you
your middle initial
and the lands you never visited

*Paloma means “Dove” in Spanish

Hear Orange Food and Fresh Tomatoes on the Gargoyle 46 CD

Gargoyle 46 CDOrange Food

Buttuhfingas
Crush
Cantaloupe
Cheddar Cheese
Chester Cheet-to
Cheese Nips
and Nacho Cheese Doritos

You all give me that feeling of
satis
The walk home from school
faction
thirty-five cents in my light blue
Catholic school blouse

Mr. Cacciatore or something
always had his eye on me
knew I wanted a Reese's Cup
or maybe some
time when I was at the Acme
and I had to get that
Peanut Butter Capn Crunch
cause that box was
oh so
orangutans
don't appeal to me though
sunsets dont appeal to me though
sunsets dont make me hungry
only plastic packages
or sometimes the natural ones
with Sunkist on the skin

Im older now
moved up to peanut butter granola bars
and peach mango passion fruit sorbet,
or maybe an occasional piece of pizza 'cause
you know
red and yellow
they make
your eyes pop out
and your stomach sing


Fresh Tomatoes

you made lasagna with homemade sauce
humble shy notes about how you hadnt cooked in while
I chewed quietly for a moment, fireworks in my head
fresh tomatoes, he used fresh tomatoes

like a potion I dont need
words pour from my mouth
I can feel my heart tighten as I lay truths on the table
strips of Chinese fortunes, your face reddens

until the next meal, homemade soup with secret jalapeño ingredients
Im sipping the creamy confection, falling harder
but trying, in between olives and Chianti
to remember to be patient, quiet

still you insist on feeding me fresh ingredients,
penne with sausage and tomatoes, all for the use of your favorite cheese
and corn chowder, dammit, just when I think
Ive managed to keep you on the edge

you grab me from behind, hands warm, the notes less shy,
I wake up now, visions of Sunday roasted chicken
first you ask if we can make it with tiny potatoes
then you change and offer gentle proddings of turnip, parsnip, and yam

I smile yes under the markets fluorescent suns
were together this time, you chopping
tiny pieces slowly
me, sloppy with butter, garlic and rosemary

 

essays

“Angelina Weld Grimke” in Beltway

Read Rebecca's tribute to D.C. poet Angelina Weld Grimke as part of the series examining the lives and legacies of DC poets who have passed away, but whose influence and importance to the D.C. literary community and to American letters remains strong.

 

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