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Michael Morical: Four Poems

Michael Morical is an assistant editor of The Same living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. His poems have appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, The Antigonish Review and other magazines. Sharing Solitaire, his haiku chapbook, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Kelsay Books published The Way Home, his new full-length collection.

*****

Taipei Bus Ride

I stepped away from high-school girls in green
uniforms at the bus stop. Other white men
ravaged Chinese women. Not me. I saved
my hands for myself. The 224 was packed
with lasses in yellow and black.
Whitemen toothpaste had just come out.
Pinned between two skirts, I held onto a bar
so my hands wouldn’t touch the curves
where the bus lunged me. Some geezers took
a ride for just that sensation, or more.
I represented the US, so mom had warned.
So whose hand spidered down from my belly?
Yikes! It squeezed my chicken
gently as giggles spread from rear
to front. Arms covered arms. Which face
belonged to that steady grip? She let go
at my stop as if she knew what white men do.
Someone yelled: He’s getting pale!

***

By a Bistro Window

As she waits for
the early-bird special
to begin, her brother
passes in traffic,
steering with his knees,
grinning into
a greasy hero
that fills both hands
and leaks.

He sways to music
she can’t hear.
His Thunderbird roars
when he touches
the gas, penetrating
the bistro window.
Who needs a muffler?

By the time she waves,
he’s turned a corner.

***

Into the Looking Glass

After she moved her garden,
the violets returned.
Waves of April mornings
flooded the cobwebs,
laying the wind thick.
Whatever it planted thrived
in the topsoil she left him.

He sat in the colors
and turned a lighter shade
of the night she emptied all day.
Moonset took him in.
He asked the sky
where darkness lies
when buds have gone away,
how the sun shattered the horizon
he’d made of her missing fingerprints.

The architecture crept up on him like old age,
like the gilding of mirrors in gilded frames.
Dandelions brought out the weed in him,
turning his head to fuzz
that blew through her jasmine
without sticking.

***

Fatima’s Gift

After my wife left,
I ate a cold salad on a cold night.
The greens were yellow,
the tomato white.
My homemade dressing
had congealed.
Then the doorbell
punctured the silence.
Outside bars and glass,
my neighbor stood in a maroon sari.
I opened the door and she handed me
a bowl of keer, sweet porridge
with coconut, peanuts and raisins.
It warmed my numb fingers.
You eat, she said, smiling
above her scarf.

 

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