The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Miles David Moore


Colon-right parenthesis smiley face
appended sideways to an e-mail's end,
you carry on your nonexistent back
the weight of every writer's good  intentions.
You are the Irony Accessory--
the tacked-on laugh, the shrug, the raised  eyebrow
to show the humor in what reads on  screen
as a punch in the face. The modulating warmth
of a human voice or a human hand's
scrawl upon paper, read in warm  lamplight,
is lost in the computer's literal  glare.
You are the fall guy, the "Kick Me" sign
stuck on a sentence's butt, so when 
someone does want to kick you--
and believe me, someone will--
your changeless smile shows your good grace
in accepting what serves you right.  :)


"The Americans love Pepsi-Cola. We love death."
            --Afghan Mujahedeen commander, quoted in the
               London Daily Telegraph, October 2001

The first sip gives you pause.
Rich, mineral, like molten rubies,
the flavor carries notes of chocolate,
apples, black pepper, asparagus, tarragon--
everything that you have ever tasted.
The bouquet is of roses, smoke, mown grass,
rain on a spring morning, the skin of a  lover
soft and yielding against a down pillow.

The finish is surprisingly short.
That taste--even more surprisingly--
comes not from the lips, but up from the throat.
The man who took aim at you thinks he knows
the thing he loves, and the thing you love.
He expects brown syrup to fizz
from your inhuman veins, and your alien world
to shatter like glass, crumple like aluminum,
or melt like plastic.


He hoists ungrateful bricks up decorative ladders
too dainty for the weight.
Over millennia, his fathers and mothers
molded bricks into arabesques,
Grecian statues, free-form improvisations.
He knows the rules, those tacky globs
of mortar, but the secret of melting bricks
is something no one can teach or learn.
He looks at his hands. He looks at the bricks.
Dull red, unpliable, they look
defiantly like what they mean.

She tries to dam the stream using only her hands.
Over millennia, her fathers and mothers
solidified water between their fingers,
built palaces, cathedrals, pyramids.
Their secret can't be taught or learned.
Their rules are crows on telephone wires,
scattering at their own discord.
She could wait for winter, but ice
is slippery, dissolving at first sun.
She looks at her hands. She looks at the water
bathing her hands, the stream-bed  pebbles
in dull mosaic, the cloisonned fish
eluding her grasp. The ceaseless
water-sound and crows' caws mingle,

They toil side by side,
too busy to notice each other
till he drops a brick in the stream.
She looks up. He looks down.
His eyes trace arabesques.
Her eyes build cathedrals.
The brick bends. The water stops.
From somewhere, a faint sound mimics birdsong.

Copyright 2006-7 by Cook Communication