Paul Cezanne, "Still Life with Skull" (1898)

Paul Cezanne, “Still Life with Skull” (1898)

Mercedes Lawry

Stories Are This, Stories Are That

Willing the imaginary from the fork in the road.
Down and imbued with the actual, practical,
dizzy or not. The white drift of clouds, anchored.
The wisp of a wing spoiled against glass.
Prayers as menace. Promise as lie.

Expect the full-on drama to sweep in
with violins, even peril a frolic,
even danger a cause for flattery.

You will only taste the raw sod of sorrow,
know hours relentless in their empty passing,
your own heartbeat a mockery, your old ideas
of love and adoration faded
on yellowed paper, about to become dust.

Some stories whinny and nicker as do horses
content with food and a clear blue sky.
Some stories sputter and choke with no
true finish and must be read on and on.

In the bowl of plums, blue-bruised
and glistening, a sated wasp waits
with infinite patience and insect glee.

Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Harpur Palate, Natural Bridge, and others.  Thrice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks, most recently “Happy Darkness.” She’s also published short fiction, essays, stories, and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.