The Jivin' Ladybug

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Ray Succre

 

She Counts What Splits the Days

 

 Where was the sale I’m going?

Heavy sometime I am so grand,

my grandmother nosed in deep,

“Honor your jacket,

glimpse the catalog kicking.”

in a reverence giddy—

 

No, I didn’t hang Christ

about my neck, but Christopher

the Saint, given me young,

was on my chest long before hair,

and then traded for it like

colored furniture in time.

 

My grandmother’s prayer-fingered

holiday talk is secondly

sat from Nordstroms.

 

She drives me where,

with a well-thumbed card

and must contact, I know,

what beckons to each

of her precisions.

 

“Your father wore shirts like these.

And look, they’re marked down—

I think he must be watching, don’t you?”

 

 

Morning Paper

 

You open the newspaper with its

rubber band on your wrist and

ten beak fingers, draw your

finger’s nail line by line, scanning

print, scraping a layer off my

nerves while you cough and read.

 

The prices, you yawn, and the

terrorists, you say, and the

housing, the water, the dog attack

and the tax of property always

upwards and shifting.

 

Mumbling, text-eyed, irretrievable,

you turn a page for three minutes.

I crash against you and

your paper is sorry and,

old husband,

 

I am old wife because of you.

 

 

Three Lives

 

Two people and I

over birdmeat baked in a glass dish,

a stirring over this hum,

devouring of animals, its dullness,

and our starring over carnivore theory.

 

A feeling I’ve not had

in one thousand years

scores its planks against my ear,

knocks, and walks in.

 

We fress this ruffed animal to its bones

and sit back.

 

 

Fitful Night in the Mexican Hotel

 

 On the bed of their first night in marriage

there were two geckos and a thirteen-ounce stone

of pure, dark chocolate.

The geckos were Tokay, were blue with red fades

on their reptilian backs.

They were warders,

advised the concierge,

of the sinister, local ghosts who haunted marriages.

The chocolate was a blessing,

according

to the concierge.

 

While the geckos made quiet, ominous

treks about the ceiling and walls,

the recently married couple went along

in their traditional consummation,

feigning ignorance of the concierge

who watched from a chair

across the room.

 

At midpoint, the concierge cleared

his nose into a napkin

and then opened it,

examining the Rorschach print

his emulsion had made.

Whatever story he gained

in this was satisfactory,

as he nodded

in agreeance.

 

“I love you,” said the husband to the wife

and the wife was warm with this

and repeated back.

 

“Commodity!  Good!” shouted the concierge

as one of the Tokays fell into his lap.

“Now, tell her with your part,

that one way or another,

you will always be with her.”

 

The husband withdrew, held

it and said:

 

One way or another.  Always.

 

The concierge lit a small firecracker,

tossed it to the floor

where it snapped out its exclamation

with a black-powder report.

 

One of the geckos devoured the other

and burst its own stomach.

The concierge began eating the chocolate,

saying that this was an equivalent form

of blessing the blessing.

The wife made a sound of euphor.

The husband reinstituted himself

with a certain focus while the hotel

burned to the ground

all night through

by a dead sea

full of drowned captains.

The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
 
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