By Shalom Aranas

Old Wives Tale
(from watching Atonement)

The way James Mcavoy looked at the sea
of dead children?
Is that you?
The way you were filled with such disgust
Over flies
I saw your profile pic
the way you didn’t like the lake
maybe, there was no fish
like everything else.
A dirty mouth
Talking of dreams
And a tired dead, dead
You were raised to think of walking
by the sea and smelling
of an old prostituted woman
all the same
until you met me.

Crying On Christmas Day

I would want you to see my Christmas
photo, but everything
conspires to make me cry,
My mother a thorn on my side
I pull with tweezers
But she keeps putting them back
Again, and again and again.
My son is going to leave
with a simple notice.
He boxes the cement wall
when I ask him if he’d
greet his Pop a merry xmas.
I imagine you reading my poem instead
Because you will see rivulets
On the sand of the close dead sea.

These Poems Are For You

These poems are for you
because I love your dry mouth
your driest humour
your homosexual ache
I carry each night you need
something I cannot give
in the driest sense.
You ask me if I married you
would I ache
no, I reply
because I just need you too much
when you gave me something
I never imagined would work.
That old faggish comfort.
after a dry break-up
I’m glad I wrote this poem,
Don’t you?


If you turned into a wolf
and said the same things
when we were children and you appeared
to make yourself known
I’d still say the same things,
Your fur spun like gold
with words
dripping from your bite
I would ask to dance
with the wolf
and the boy
I met on prom night
when no one would dance
with a girl wearing the thickest glasses
anyone has ever seen.
What have you seen little girl?
in the deadest sea
sand stuck in the rim
of your glasses?


Today you told me a story
worth telling
I worry
you think
this is payment for something
or you just want me there
to listen and listen well.
I write fast before I think
too much
Someone did that to you?
Now I worry would
I do this to you?
Am I wicked for writing
fast before I think too much
because I do listen well
ever since high school in
all girls’ school
and secrets are payments
like candy pops.


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