“And all that I knew is moving away from me.”
The sign on the office door reads
Gone where the clock really jumps from the wall
in exasperation at the lateness of hours,
where donkeys spit eulogies that fall
like bricklebrit in the palms of refugees.
Yes, it is a long message
because in places like that
gears reconsider why they are and retard
their turning; the key fits and the latch
slips open; spoons fill themselves
and moonless, drifting evenings fork.
In such a place
the song I wanted to remember
lingers in that first terrible moment
of waking and there is just a sputter
of time to profitably
retrace my trespasses.
Soirée dans Grenade
after Claude Debussy
Mix a quip with a droplet of Cinzano
and an olive in an ice cube
and lean forward to suggest attention.
It is, after all, transactional.
Look at her magenta lips as they pronounce argent
and make eye contact but don’t bore in.
You’re not taking a biopsy.
She’s taking requests.
A little Spanish fly may flutter up
from under the bridge of her guitar
and buzz around the rafters.
This and the heat could prove distracting.
The ice and everything melts quickly in these climes
marking the time you have.
Her irises turn lavender
which is my favorite scent. Yours too? You may have more time than I thought.
Count the hibiscus blossoms silently
in the honeydrip of twilight
and concentrate on her tune,
languid and undulating between modes
that won’t be pinned down.
They only live in these strings.
David P. Kozinski received the 2018 Established Professional Poetry Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. His full-length book of poems, Tripping Over Memorial Day was published by Kelsay Books in 2017. He received the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, which included publication of his chapbook, Loopholes (Broadkill Press). Kozinski was named 2018 Mentor of the Year by Expressive Path, a non-profit that facilitates youth participation in the arts. He serves on the board of the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center in Philadelphia and the editorial board of Philadelphia Stories. He is Art Editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal.