1. Ghazal with a Few Variations

    She rinses her face and smooths her hair. The street
    comes to life, the smells of morning from the coffee bar.

    Grab your ankles, press your forehead to your knees.
    I used to be able to slide a raised leg along the barre.

    Sometimes I’m seized with a longing for what I don’t know.
    They indulge me when I sit in the dark at the local bar.

    Just when she thought she’d cleared the tests, they called
    her back. Don’t you know they’re always raising the bar?

    His voice on the phone, now husky with age– how long
    since he whispered in my ear in a college bar?

    Thirteen cattail heads in the shallows, like swizzle sticks;
    water clear as vodka– You’d think this was a poetry bar.

    A couple wanders in; a blinged-out dude in cowboy boots. The street
    philosopher, red-lipsticked waitress. All this in one night, in a bar.

    The days are getting longer. Soon we can sit on the deck, drinks
    in hand, watching the sun torch sheets of water beyond the sandbar.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    03 26 2011

  2. Thirteen cattails, each holding its shot glass
    nod by the bar. They almost have faces. If you try hard
    you can see them. (Try another drink.) They grow here wild,
    immortal, in bronze corduroy jackets with thistly collars.
    Round about six they begin to appear, displacing
    the water lillies and the more exotic growths.

    The raw tincture of potato is not for them.
    It tells too clear a story, Too cold and fiery.
    No, they’re drinking seven and seven, or rum and coke,
    and by morning they’ll be sober as a board.

    1. Those cats have some taste: bronze corduroy, thistly collars.
      A story almost too clear in the telling is probably more starch than fire.

      1. Stories told too clear, better left for the poetry bar, leave a taste of ether as conspiratory tales unravel in spirals prodded by change in temperature and gifts of time.

        An evening rendezvous at the Sundown Marsh begins in earnest with wolves picking thistles from collars knotted like spring cattails, unraveling the days stories with cool words spoken from eyes and dancing ears, prodded by sweet smells of rosemary and thyme.

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