Reflections: Day 24 - aaduna's NPM with da Costa, Welch, Baniyka, de Jesús


Night begins in disquiet, pacing back and forth,
Disturbed by spoons crossing swords with forks
Banging on plates as against shields,
Clinking glasses like missiles pinging helmets.
Rumbling low, a water stream is drumming
An aluminum sink, bottom of a boat.

Beyond the wall, cars whoosh by like subway trains.
Passersby in threes or fours are chortling birds.
Two houses down, a woman hollers faintly at a bawling child.
Cats scrambling after prey kick boxes bumping together as they fall.

A small animal is making tiny scraping noises inside the ceiling.
The wind rises, shakes leaves, dislodging one fruit,
Thudding on the roof, bouncing twice,
Rolling audibly…one, two more follow.
The house folds his hands, sitting silently for a while.
Everything is slowing down, floating brushwood.

The clock is ticking but not on the wall. Time machine
Oscillating to a gradually disappearing frequency,
I listen for the pop of ratchet and spring pulling the hammer backward
To strike the bell once, twice, then push off, sleep pulling at the oars.

© 2015 Gonzalinho da Costa            
San Juan, Philippines 

Gonzalinho da Costa (photo provided)

* * *


There was this big concrete bridge
separating us from them.
Us with our tree lined streets
and backyard barbecues.
Them with their country club
and sprawling mansions.
We climbed trees and played kick-the-can.
They took tennis lessons and
swam in backyard pools.
But to a kid
the bridge wasn’t a separation;
it was a connection.
I visited my school friend
in her two-story house
with the flagstone fireplace.
She visited me and we played
jacks on my front porch
of our craftsman house.
But a hostile fog swallowed my
world when a colored family
moved onto our street in 1954.

It didn’t take us long to move
to a modern house in
Magnolia Center with no bridge
where everyone and every
house looked the same.
I didn’t get to meet the girl
in the pink house down the street
with chocolate skin and crinkly hair.

I never knew what her
dolls were like, what her
mother made her eat for
dinner, did her nose freckle
too in the summer sun?
Did she climb trees,
play kick the can?
What kind of stories did
her Grandmother tell?

© 2017 Nina Welch                           
Mission Viejo, California   

Nina Welch (photo provided)

* * *

8 MM

You see him
through a broken window
as he glides in
through the door.

Love is a black dog
in a video store.

You’d like him to say hello
but hope he won’t hear
your new shoes creak
against the marble floor.

Love is a black dog
in a video store.

Nothing of the sort happens;
he pays swiftly
and walks out
while it starts to pour.

Under the roof of a garage
next door, he stands
and smiles at you.
You know there’s more.

Under a lopsided beret,
his eyes are a dark brown;
they say a word or two
but many a secrets they store.

Love is a black dog
in a video store.

On a torn piece
of typed paper
he writes his number
and name “Salvador.”

In the shade
of your study lamp,
you open the piece
of crumpled paper.

Salvador now is a blotch
of blue and white;
the numbers are hazy
A nine may really be a four.

Love is a black dog
in a video store.

© 2017 Prarthana Banikya                 
Bangalore, India                    

Prarthana Banikya (photo provided)

* * *

Humpty Drumpfty

Donald Drumpf felt so small
Donald Drumpf wanted a wall
But all Bannon’s horses
and all McConnell’s men
Couldn’t do fucking squat
So they subcontracted to some nice Mexicans dudes down at the Home Depot.
Kellyanne insisted they were vetted and legal.
And they did a great job—fast, too.
But it sure was strange
that sturdy wall seemed to move
            a few feet north
                        day after day.
Pretty soon there were two, even three, taco trucks on every corner
and good panaderias in every town
everyone was speaking Spanish
all the way up to the Canadian border.
But that border seemed have migrated south--
            did Canada use those same guys?
The United States was gone, it seemed.

© 2017 Melinda Luisa de Jesús
Oakland, Califas!

Melinda Luisa de Jesús (photo provided)

 *   *   *
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