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Image by Allan Carvalho

Night poems

La noche bebió vino
y bailó desnuda entre los huesos de la niebla
“Otros poemas” – Alejandra Pizarnik


The front door light welcomes the dark,
invites her in, but the dark is naked
and prefers not to scandalize the neighbors.
Shadows flirt like braless schoolgirls
finally catching on to what it means
to be desired and to flash imagination.


I know the dark of graveyard shifts, that
convenience store always available.
Most of the world sleeps, and I am alone
with things and thoughts. Mine is the foot
that keeps the door of night ajar. I lock
and unlock. I stand in silence
as if the silence belongs to me.


Much of what daylight makes obscene,
the dark accepts. The night is pleased
to embrace what the day rejects.
Much I’ve done in the light shocks
even me, a lover of dark.


I like to watch night undress – first the trees,
then shrubbery, the grass, the buildings
as windows light with false modesty.
The night is free of all that, but she is a tease,
slowly shedding her last vestige of reticence.
I like her naked.


Night is best for sin: drinking, singing,
dancing, sins of the flesh – anything tactile
where touch delights – all that one dares
not do in the church of day, the factory
of day, the crammed parking lot of day.


Yes. Of course. We have all night.


Mornings, solitude wakes me before light,
before the alarm, before all that sleeps.
She whispers in my ear, It’s time to be
more alone than sleep. I rise in quiet,
jealous of her call, wanting no one else
to hear, right ear still tickled with possibility.
I draw the curtain, bid the dark farewell as the night
slinks off covering herself with her hands.

Living with death

The bathroom’s a mess – her stuff:
those brown prescription pill bottles,
blood pressure cuff, salves, ointments,
cremes worthless against age,
compression stockings, a plastic
shower chair, elevated toilet seat.
The bidet hasn’t worked in years.
Scents that make no sense –
a painful liniment and foot powder
being the signature underling odors.

She can’t cook, and even if she could,
she’s a vegetarian, concocts faux food
– healthy but tasteless. Those she lives
with are left with sandwiches –
mayonnaise and American cheese.
She prefers paper plates
and hides fruit rinds in the oven.
She likes crackers, eats them all.

She bores easily, lies around
on the futon mid-afternoon watching
the soaps and talk shows. Won’t
answer the door even if someone
were to come by. Turns up the volume
on the TV as if she were the deaf one.
Leaves her clothes wherever they fall
on her slow strip to night. Those she
lives with look for signs she’s leaving.

Bad decisions

“I’m 29, female, and I make bad decisions.”
(Spam email)

and you know you want to be one of them.

She’s a dream, a promise, a challenge.
What’s not to like? If she whispered such
in your ear, you would follow her until she ditched
you for the next bad decision. You know you would.

At heart, we are all adolescents, going back through
from the other side – responsible adult
to pre-pubescence. The nurses at the residence
could not understand my father’s interest
– 90 years old and nothing to lose.

Douglas K Currier has published poetry and short fiction in various journals and anthologies in North and South America. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh MFA program. His poetry collections: Señorita Death (Main Street Rag Publishing Company) and Regreso (Moglia Ediciones) were published last year. Currier has retired from college teaching. He writes in English and Spanish and divides his time between Winooski, Vermont and Corrientes, Argentina.


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