Cup of Coffee

Fear me. I know we are all connected
and how to feel your weight.

The last time you tasted chocolate
you were an older child in Phoenix.

If only the miniature woman
played the grand piano

to liven up the doll house
with some ragtime.

It is okay that you liked to play with dolls
and preferred their lack of genitalia.

I know high school was murder on you
as parents forced you to strip away yourself

so you would fit their norms
even as a they embraced glam-rock and Bowie.

I am glad I met you here on the dock
before you joined the fishes

confident some oceanic voodoo
would give you space to breath.

Trust me. I believe I am the first person
who ever took the time to listen

to the unimaginable wringing
in your hands and ears.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Arts & Crafts

The pandemic
forces me to creative projects.

I think I will build
a nondenominational altar.

Lord knows individuals
speak a thousand prayers per day.

Lord knows we need
to be saved from our own foolishness.

The altar does not mind
if children bring in playful hands

their dolls or toy soldiers
to the prayer sessions.

The altar has a basin
designed to collect people’s tears.

It does not matter
if your eyes are open or closed.

The basin does not make the tears holy.
That occurs during the act of crying.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Breath Mint Tin

Milkweed butterflies.
Tartan picnic.
A flower petal dress.

A girl sips tea with dolls.

Her innocent lips.
Her mouth says, open.
No sesame. No forty thieves.

A girl locates a half smoked cigarette.

Hidden in the dirt.
Behind the milkweed
as she sought stones to serve as teacakes.

A girl picks up pieces of a broken promise.

Her fingers run the puzzling edges.
Her fingers peel the white paper.
Tobacco oils stain her fingertips.

A girl pinches her nose.

She traffic-cops her dolls.
There are seven intersections between here
and her bedroom.

A girl sets the paper and tobacco down.

Adjacent to her mother’s lipstick.
Between two citrus scented candles.
On top of her Altoids tin.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney