Two Poems by Kate Moos
In A Certain Place, At A Certain Time
Dread thrills her, and then relief,
as, waking in a mildew of stale gin
sweated out during the apostrophized night
of shallow sleep, she realizes how little
damage she's done. Her house is not on fire.
She hears the saurian busses rumble on time,
dieseling at the corner. Only she is badly
broken, swollen, petulant with remorse.
She wonders what she has done. And she
has done nothing, she remembers
as imperfect recollection sets in.
She has done nothing at all.
Only spent a life in a room that blinks
with blue light, talking to the television,
convinced that this is what is possible.
Another cigarette, another drink.
It is not impossible to live with a heart half-dead, the dauphin
in exile learns, minding its mild murmur in the middle
of the starry night, from the upstairs window surveying
his demesne anonymously. He would be king!
Call fools to his knees, tear his own hairless flesh,
get at that itch, and have for breakfast what he wished.
But the purplish valve can only curtsy.
We get used to it, he thinks,
thanks to our genetic bearing and regal reserve, good
as any Connecticut matron's. He imagines the crown's
heft, its weight on his brow, and imagines killing
the rabble, no quarter for the bovine lumps who
know him not in his rags, them and their gap-toothed
daughters. For them there will be no choking
on mercy, no goddam heart, no flower.