Poetry from Carrie Naughton
clots above ocean cliffs
behind greasy glass
in a cheap dusty frame
on the wall of this bar.
My yearning quota is all used up –
to paraphrase Roger Waters –
but oh, here it comes again:
the turning of the tide.
I can hear sweet backup
over stormy seas.
The corpse of Joe Cocker’s crawling
through an open window
in the ladies’ lavatory, and Sunday’s
sending texts from Friday.
I never want to be sober.
I want to be a free man, Icarus, falling
with you while birds catch fire and swoop
the foamy edges of this pocket universe.
Let’s be paper cutouts, like your wrinkled
Matisse portrait, crucified in the last booth:
a cross-shaped god,
a man-shape flying in cross-formation
through a blue field of blazing stars
because even the cocktail waitress knows
the loneliest part of today is the twilight,
and I want to be left alone
but never all alone.
Not on the midnight watch
when the bartender dims the lights
and pours another round
and the house band covers “Southern Cross”
for the third time
and I realize
this boat, tossed on a darkling Galilee,
isn’t the ship I boarded.
Carrie Naughton is a freelance bookkeeper who writes speculative fiction, environmental essays, and poetry. Her work can be read at Strange Horizons, WordsDance, Star*Line, and The Tishman Review. Find her at carrienaughton.com – where she blogs about whatever captures her interest.