August 22, 2003

Two poems by Kim Addonizio:

Full Moon

All over the city
something gets into people.
Women tucking in their kids
close their eyes, think of men
they should have followed off buses.
Girls rouge their cheeks with lipstick,
their bodies telling lies
to anyone who'll listen.
Cars with their lights off glide
under the trees, headed for the ocean.
The men going through garbage cans
rifle Burger King bags for a few
pale fries. They lie down
in doorways. In dreams, their mothers
check their foreheads for fever.
Refugees sit up
studying old photographs they enter
like water, going under.
Desire is a cold drink
that scalds the heart.
Somewhere women are standing
at their windows, like lit candles,
and boys in Army boots
go dancing through the streets,
singing, and shoot
at anything that moves.

The Call

A man opens a magazine
women with no clothes,
their eyes blacked out.
He dials a number,
hums a commercial
under his breath. A voice
tells him he can do
anything he wants to her.
He imagines standing her
against a wall, her saying
Oh baby you feel so good
It's late. The women
on the phone yawns,
trails the cord to the hall
to look in on her daughter.
She's curled with one
leg off the couch.
The women shoulders the receiver,
tucks a sheet and whispers
Yes, do it, yes.
She drifts to the kitchen,
opens another Diet Pepsi, wonders
how long it will take him and where
she can find a cheap winter coat.
Remembering the bills,
she flips off the light.
He's still saying soon,
turning his wheelchair right,
left, right. A tube runs down
his pants leg. Sometimes
he thinks he feels something,
stops taling to concentrate
on movement down there.
Hello, the women says.
You still on?


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