Post Road Magazine #23

Cauliflower Soup

Peter Schireson

I try and get it right,
how you love the cauliflower soup
in that little Italian place uptown
with dark red walls
and the grumpy old maitre d'
with cauliflower ears, and how
it's those ears that help me recall
your beloved cauliflower soup.

But then you remind me
it's actually brussels sprouts
you order uptown,
that the walls
aren't dark red, that's
a different spot, and that
the maitre d' must be from a time
and place before we ever met,
if he's real at all.

You're right, of course, right
about everything, and I see
I've bent another indelible line
you've drawn with the ink
of time and place,
and that I can't be trusted
not to order cauliflower soup for you.

And at the same time
I am very fond of the old maitre d'
with the cauliflower ears,
grumpy as he is.


Storm Damage

Peter Schireson

I'm going to bed without skin,
only tendons and muscles,
aching, done-in by my own words.
Under the sheet, still hot
from a fire I lit and fed,
I dream up a storm to cool myself off,
and in the no-time of dreamtime,
drains overflow, the ground runs
out of shapes to hold the rain,
it's water on water
and wind against walls,
old nails creak in purlins
where the planks are weak,
the moon breaks the curtains
and crawls across the floor
to where in the light
though not a kneeling man
I'm kneeling now.


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