Category: Poetry

WEDNESDAY: Relatively Speaking

BY C. J. PAPOUTSIS

Copyright is held by the author.

Afraid of moonlight and night rain
my granny drinks gin. Her feet grope
the sidewalk for terra firma. She leans
like that tower in Italy
to offset the gin then looks at me
through a veil of names
but can’t remember who I am.

My brother wears a suit and drinks coffee
at Starbucks so people will think
he’s a success. Afraid of being poor
and eating cabbage every day
he marinates Spam in white wine
and dreams of winning a lottery.

My mother speaks French and
plays the piano like a native. She owns a shop
based on the theory that everyone looks good
in black lace underwear. Afraid of reality,
she sips sherry from a Wedgwood vase
hoping to deceive the help.

My father is an enigma variation.
He suffers self-denial until noon
then drinks premeditated wine and finishes
other people’s sentences. He’s afraid to die
because the temperature in hell
will blister the paint on his Mercedes.

My sister got a broken heart
from living in South Africa.
She takes medication now
but still sees giant lizards
behind the furniture and is mortally afraid
of garden hoses.

I write poems and sip Absinthe
While staring out my window
at cement walls. Afraid of surprises,
I find cement, unlike everything else
is predictable.