Still Life With Bullets

by Alex Stolis

the kitchen,
a paper room, streaked
fuschia walls;
broken fruit with jagged edges,
red and orange valleys
burn the skeleton of Anna's eyes in porcelain;
vowels roll to the door jamb
lift a footprint from keyholes,
sentences are skimmed
from dust on the sill,
Ibbettson Street swallows the fruit,
her children are left
mouthing parables.

Scratching the Surface of the Sun

Davis tells the blonde at the bar
how he met Frank Sinatra
in Philadelphia
doesn't notice how she turns,
winks to the bartender.
He begs the sun to drip
shadows in his whiskey,
wants to pour Emily's picture in the mirror, pretend
he knows which road leads to her --
Forrester Lane
to Lincoln Street
walking until the day is splayed on the sidewalk,
face down pulling on his shirttail.

He fumbles through his pockets,
no cigarettes, two dollars
and a poem written last week, stained
with beads of water from Lake Como;
words she already knew
but couldn't let sleep
in the rose cleft of her shoulder.
The blonde doesn't bother to hide her stare,
he hails a cab to Lincoln
or maybe Park Place
breaks the fence next door
with his silence. It's March 1st,
summer is two blocks away.

©2002 by Alex Stolis

Alex Stolis has been a janitor, a counselor, a waiter, a bartender, a housekeeper, a salesman, a cook, a criminal, a has-been and a never-was. He loves his wife, his dog, his kids, The Replacements, The Pixies, Smarties, and Paris.

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