Drawing by Judith Wolfe

PHILIP VASSALLO /

Two Poems



    A Dinner Date with Himself

    Chewed out by himself,
    he bends the fabled wishbone
    at Tables One through Four
    with just the bones to wish for.
    See how his left hand wins,
    his right hand loses,
    while he expresses both
    with the same stuffed stare.

    Note the waitress bears no witness
    at a dollar-tip-per-special.
    She's busy with her back to him
    setting Tables Five through Googol
    on the infinite images of mirrored walls,
    calibrating Formica and stainless steel
    with crushed creamers and squeeze bottles
    and the smear of a soiled rag

    to make the stay seem better.

    A Lack of Effort

    The mind concocts its own demise
    when seeing lies
    in what it dreams
    but not what seems
    to have at least a shade of truth.
    It fears when youth
    loves as it does
    and feels what was
    must always lead to what will be.
    The mind, you see,
    construes that fate
    bears zero weight.


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