Parking Lot Consultation

For Amelia…

"Wonder" -- Sabrina Farley

“Wonder” — Sabrina Farley

Sometimes, it’s well enough to
dissolve into the quiet company
of an admirer
in the liquor hum in the frosted parking lot.  There
I’ll teach you how to ignore the hormonal halos
—so irrational, (what they call) love: the blazing of senses.

As the awkward passenger, I would touch your wrist
if I could trust that the wall you’ve spent years constructing
from the comfort of your coolness
would remain as stubborn and aloof as your leather jacket.

I would kiss your mouth,
pillowed to squash self-critique and to remind you
of the crumbled napkin you pressed into my hand.

Darling, we all fall for wrong people,
trade sex for geography and eggshells for meditation
—only to be consumed by the spaces between our bones.

You must know: you have the ocean’s strength,
its hellish waves and erratic tide.

Although petite, you bare
a flight that I also envy in birds
and an appeal that I stash in jars
for those times when you are matte.

For now, in resistance to shivering speech,
I beg you: take this car through the light.
Toss us into a crash once the asphalt runs out
so that I have an excuse to hold you, to cup you as a ship.


To Immigrate

Orla slid the tiny china and espresso
across the counter.
“If you found work, would you stay in London?”
She smiled, a perfect smile
set in the bottom half of a moon-pale oval,

her sunset curls tamed by pins, and
eyes the green of grass-stained mouths
and a lush, rolling landscape that crashes into ocean.

While my insides swelled with nervous images:
my red-haired mother,
wheat seas, and yellow-bellied birds.

I said, “Oh no, I couldn’t”
—though I would have
hung around to land a position folding clothes
for a fiver every hour
and fallen in love with Gavin, the waiter
who lived upstairs, played guitar,
and conjured sighs by his plump candy mouth.

I could have stayed on if I hadn’t been
a spoiled, bird-boned kitten
secured by a book in my bunk.

Rather I slid Orla a couple pounds, slightly turning
to watch the bodies float by the window,
and left her mild voice to generate some
electric sense—that sliver of something old
and intrinsically ours.