Winter 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 4

Poetry Fiction NonFiction Reviews

Richard Merelman

At a Pawnshop in Houston

The way he strokes my string of cultured pearls
Is virtuoso. I forget to bargain.

"My best is a hundred," he says. A blush swirls
From his cheek to his dimpled chin. "Come again"

He urges. It doesn't take a month to drink
The money up. Next is the silver tray
Embossed with jade. He feels for dents; we link
Forefingers. "Tiffany style," he sighs; "passé

But half a grand." I sip his voice, like wine.
This morning it's the Portuguese candlesticks,
My favorite wedding gift. "Exquisite design,"
He whispers, lingering. Is this love or shtick?

Soon, to see, I'll bring him only me,
No pawn at all. In fact, he'll find I'm free.

I Visit My Out-Of-Town Burial Site

Pop, I'm stuck in a Marx Brothers comedy;
I chase a deed, nested coffins for custody
Of my body on ice,
A notarized copy of Mother's will (tossed
In Philly), yellowed affidavits I lost.
Oh, and a plane would be nice.

I measure centimeters, walk my plot.
Feel me? Maybe you're thinking "Hot shot,
Why'd you put me on hold?"
No, that's more the way I talk. You labored
Like a work horse, welcomed every neighbor.
I fled west in search of gold.

Confession: your prodigal son jettisoned Kaddish.
Shouldn't fate have granted you a goddess,
Not a whore for a wife?
Plus a course in formal logic shattered
The Jewish magic. Still, let others be scattered
As ashes, burned out of life.

Pop, I'm seventy-one, no clueless youth.
I've foundered, like a grifter's brand of truth
Or a fake physician.
You persisted. How? You must have managed
Hope, like Moses. I recall your adage:
"To die? An intermission."

© Richard Merelman

Poetry Fiction NonFiction Reviews

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