Two by Richard Carr


The peonies shouldering the front steps
first attract ants
shrewd ants climbing the stems
to the syrupy big buds ready to bloom
and then they do and that’s it
they bloom in great heaps of heavy color
one mound a dark engorged pink
the other billowing white
all dotted with wet yellow
but then tomorrow the petals decay and detach
and scatter on the ground like kitchen garbage
and now you have to love them
with full-blown love.

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Knowing he was always watching me during the hard years
I turned my nose up at Ace
though I caught him
and sometimes kept him in the corner of my eye
as he stared at me over his sunglasses
from behind the wheel of his car parked half a block down
or sometimes
I lingered in front of my building
back turned
and I don’t know why
I posed like an arrogant mannequin and waited
until I heard him pull into the street
muscle a U-turn
and roll away.

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:: Richard Carr, Ace (2009)

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