Jeffery Bahr divides his time between Colorado and California, writes poetry and short fiction, and is on the editorial staff of The Alsop Review. His work has appeared in various publications including Galapagos, The Portland Review, The Melic Review, Coal City Review, and Grasslands Review.
The Ex Arrives at Easter
Her hair is just the color
of potholes, boarded wells.
Her eyes blown in Murano,
my pockets sag.
The Couple Views Dali
She pouts above Laguardia,
red satin crescent, leaning
on a newel post until noticed,
signaling her readiness through
gunmetal haze, locust drone,
clink and sputter, swish and pop,
Salvador's hand painted invitation tucked,
a blasphemous admixture of the dead and ticking,
like those on walls, save that one mirror.
She sips a final Y of gin,
its oily surface tactile, ringing still
with violation, sluggish wisdom
wrought by crushing juniper,
I look to find
jaundice troweled on swamp glow,
brows of jagged wonderment,
ears to lift a flying fish,
lashless acid-bath eyes,
no chin to speak of.
The wake of my Camaro
snaps the rapt attention each of
countless blackbirds paid to something
just beneath this field of snow.
They've arranged themselves
like someone tossed a pot of mussels
into mayonnaise, hieroglyphic postures.
As upon a signal,
black wings, gray night,
claws tight upon their ice-find.
It's been a while, they have
the look of
friends in dreams.
The French see rabbits in the moon,
I see a coin
To buy my children back.
The dawn applies its hand
to the nether end of this,
a freeway pointed mostly toward New Orleans.
The tick-tick-ticking of the joints
between the slabs of my escape route,
like a U-boat under pressure
fleeing its addiction.
This is not a thing you tell
your children's children.
© Jeffery Bahr
You walk in wearing a raincoat and I'm dyeing
eggs, thunder trumpets, you say:
I forgot something.
And so you did: the brass cat whose ass
resides on Homer, walnut salad tongs,
a rug from Isfahan.
I hand you a glass of sherry
and you look at me,
my apron, my lack of focus.
If I had two lives, I would give you one, but
your motor is running and I
have to go
run water over my red hands.
© Jeffery Bahr
There's Nothing Wrong With You
Among the catalogues of lingerie,
the works of Van Gogh wrought on parasols,
bright copper sauté pans, drafting pens,
gargoyles, garden stones,
resides the small blue card that notes
your blood results.
The plane rises, you fall, the child
beside you places her thumb
on your wrist: there is no tiger,
no berry bush.
It's not the rental car
you asked for, but it comes
with a compass.
You have been here before, catching
box turtles in the green heat, wishing
you had a real knife, fingering
the peanut butter into the trap.
You give your luggage to a black man
better dressed than you, his copper palm
convenient: your money, your Spanish
golf shirt, your chinos, socks, shoes,
walk through the naked lobby,
order a beer,
smoke your last cigarette.
© Jeffery Bahr