Editor's note: these poems originally appeared in the old/previous Luna Luna
FLIM FLAM MAN & THE MATCH
fancy name for one part
of fire; flame
shaped like man.
You are a girl again,
trying for breath. He stands
over you, emptying himself
He hands you a match,
with a hiss:
Though you find no air,
and door; eucalyptus
and sage; citrus in a bowl.
You like that? he says, harboring nothing.
Shut up, and it’s yours.
He smiles at you and leans in
for a kiss. Your chest rises with air.
Lacking killer instinct,
you make yourself
very small and still.
That’s good, he says, pleased
with your vegetable wisdom. You lie
quiet and coiled,
a corner opens: sleeping Calico
on the chair, lattice-brown
beneath a bare pane.
You dream air,
but the room grows light.
Look at the shapes,
he takes away a candle.
You are silent now, gasping
but not alone, and you savor the light
that reveals the dozing hound, water in a glass,
cat slinking like a creek around.
That’s my girl,
he bends near, lips hot at your ear:
Light or air, choose, a kiss. You note the candle
You strike a match.
BREAKTHROUGH SESSION: BULIMIC TO HER THERAPIST
Doc, it’s not about thin.
Though that’s what everyone gushes: Girl,
you don’t have nothin to worry about,
as they eye my thighs,
eschew the butter crust and finger
a sensible grape.
You know I don’t come clean with this stuff much, doc,
but I been thinking…
This could be my claim to fame,
so to speak!
You ever heard of a gastro-renegade?
Bonnie & Clyde squeal into dusty border towns
sitting high in a low rider caviar black Corvette
(It’s a new century, doc),
stopping once on highway 10 outside Alvarado
to slug mescal and make love like two wolves
tearing at the dark.
Man, that worm didn’t stand a chance.
They shock the locals with lusty gropes
and the lambada.
Bonnie is the real firecracker
with a taste for the strap, a flair for flash,
and a bullet ride to rage-
WHAT did you say?
The bar is closed?!
and wham! Campfire roasted rabbit and bits of agave everywhere!
Clyde, of course, swoons over his furiously lanky lady,
aches to rub his licorice colored stubble over her stomach, smooth
as a Smith & Wesson.
Bonnie plants a sour kiss on Clyde’s honored lips and they ride off
into a cinnamon desert, smothered in a sunset
orange as Mrs. Daley’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
Yeah, that’s as good as me, doc,
a bonafide Gen-X quick draw.
I can unload a muffin or purge Mom’s chops
with the flick of an acrylic-tipped index,
outside the subtle narrowing of Maybelline’s envious glance,
return to the clink of Wedgwood,
and dive into the brandy sauce.
You think I’m a victim, doc?
that maybe I been dished up a short serving?
left with leftovers, so to speak?
I just know
when I’m hunkered down over Lysol swabbed porcelain and dingy tile
in a dinner-hour bathroom ablaze on Colley Avenue,
exhuming the lunch hummis,
recoiling from caloric OD, I smell
the burn of tires and hear the horn of that black Corvette.
It brakes hard and spits gravel. Clyde slides
the tinted window down like a silk slip
and whispers smoky as a single-malt,
She’ll be scoping hits all night tonight.
Bonnie winks from behind the wheel,
you-go-sister approval for eating
my cake and hating it too,
for blasting shotgun shells into the luncheonette
of my heart, for winning the shootout
in every woman’s skirmish
For Jennifer Hanasik
In September we watched the purple martins
bobbing low over roof-tops, iron-colored flock
in unison even when it veered suddenly,
a dark cape shaken. They turned, gathering strength
into their fold for winter’s course.
We were rapt, our faces tilted toward
the cluster and blur of black wings,
watching until we stopped seeing sky.
After she called to say you died at home,
I remembered the purple martins
when their evening flight was our solace.
Bracing for intractable latitudes,
I wished I could turn to you.
We might have had October
but for the sudden opening of sky
that was there all along.
Cesca Janece Waterfield is a journalist, poet, and songwriter. She has been selected three times to receive songwriter grants from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). She is the author of Bartab: An Afterhours Ballad (Two-Handed Engine Press). Her poems and fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals.