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.


The Prince     

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.