This one appeared this month in the Mill Valley Literary Review edited by John Macon King. Thanks John!
From his Place under the Overhang in the Doorway of Smiley’s Schooner Saloon,
One-Eye Pete Squints out at the Rain
Look at the sky Man
It’s the new moon and the eclipse and something’s
flashing a light up there too
Look, there it goes again, it’s the spacemen
They’ve landed on Mt. Tamalpais
Me thinking — Old One-Eye sees more than the rest of us
with our two good eyes, secretly envy his talent
Thinking— He sees inside my head while dreaming; we dream
It’s twilight in Smiley’s and the Winter Olympics
are on TV
Ed’s behind the bar, waiting for Nairobi Steve
to take over at seven o’clock
I’m drinking coffee with Hennessey in the doorway
with One-Eye, when this raindrop comes off the beam
over my head and lands in my drink
It’s the spacemen! They’ve landed in your drink.
See that? See that?
Flashing there, a sparkle of reflected light
Pretty soon Big Carl comes back from investigating
and takes up his regular position at the door
Wasn’t it spacemen? asks the one-eyed man
Big Carl shakes his big head — Nah, it’s an electrical wire in the trees
It’s got a short or something
So Ed calls Jose at the fire station and he promises to notify
PG&E before the whole hillside goes up in smoke
One-Eye comes away from the doorway, big grin on his face —
Ain’t those spacemen something though?
Something - I say, my coffee gone cold in its cup
Big Carl doesn’t say anything; Ed pours another drink; on TV girls
in short skirts whirl their way across the frozen screen
I toss the coffee to the ground, as a winking light sparks out of it
and flits away. Pete nods, shuffles, closes the door, shutting the nightwith its secrets outside.
by Dotty LeMieux