Tag Archives: choice

Red Eyelids

Bass Clef mid-F, in eighths.
Bass Clef mid-F, final quarter.
Salute completed, we stand.
To the left a head panned.

Those eyes contained
Unmistakable pain.
Pain at my performance?
Pain at my conformance?

The show must go on.

Standing, Bass Clef top line, staccato,
Then drop an octave, staccato; final note.
But still the pain gives me pause.

It was the dry throat,
I tell myself.
It was the sloped chair or stage,
I want to believe.

But my lips, not the stage,
Missed the notes.
My finger, not the chair,
Depressed the wrong valve.

Show concluded,
We pack up and depart.
I watch for those red eyes,
But they don’t look at me.

My silence? Unintended;
Trying to fathom
What I cannot see.
Do I misunderstand?

Rough knuckles,
White back of hand,
In close proximity;
Moment in time ever on my mind.

Copyright © 2016 H.K. Longmore

Altered Path

At the crossing paths,
To help with another’s task
I’m politely asked.

Planned words left unheard,
I answered yes and turned left,
Compliment unsaid.

©2015 H.K. Longmore

The Cupboard in the Corner of My Atrium

My Atrium is no ordinary shop:
No wares are peddled,
We don’t do consignment,
There’s no cash behind the counter.

Here behind the fence
Of my serous pericardium,
You’ll find, if you request,
Emotions—free of charge.

But if you want an emotion
From my Atrium,
You’ll have to step up;
Step up to the counter and ask.

But if you want jealousy,
We’re fresh out.
Well, that’s not right:
We no longer stock it.

Jealousy is messy,
It gets in the cracks,
Turns the grout green,
Stains white things black.

Jealousy does not produce
Manliness nor masculinity;
Those are both best
Grown internally.

So when we find
A trace of jealousy
On the floor
Or oozing down the stairs

We fetch the mop
From the cupboard
In the corner
Of my Atrium.

So, what will you have?
What will it be?
You’ll have to step up to the counter
And make it known.

If you’d rather get your fill
From some other,
That’s your choice.
There are other customers at my till.

But the portrait I painted
While you stood outside
Window shopping
Is etched into the wall.

And there it will remain—
Whether you give your wants a name,
Or never come to my counter again—
In the middle of my Atrium.

Now, where’s that mop?

©2014 H.K. Longmore

Midday in Manhattan

Three tourists by the shore,
Capris and shorts they wore.
Reading the signs, the lore
Casting eyes where birds soar.

Lady Liberty
At Lady Liberty
They gaze, filled with wonder;
In awe of history,
Founding Fathers ponder.

No time to ferry ride;
Hold hands, walk side by side.

Leaving Battery Park
By foot they head to Wall.
Construction leaves its mark:
They pass Scaffolding Hall.

Three young men talk on stairs
Their skin darker than mine.
To greet hello he dares;
Of brotherhood a sign.

His light he will not hide.

But not a word he speaks
Not because he felt weak
Rather the tallest lad
Spoke first.  It made him sad,

For what the tall one said
Echoed around his head;
I can’t repeat it here,
It’s a bit crude I fear.

A euphemism: died.

The tall one asserted
To he who held her hand,
Freckled white on brown tanned,
White would be deserted

If euphemism sought
When being intimate;
Yes, indiscriminate.
His voice in his throat caught.

Words he could not abide.

His heart did palpitate,
His stomach nauseate,
As fight or flight took hold,
His face he painted cold
Ground Zero

On they walked, on to Wall
Their pace they slowed, they stalled.
Pondered holes and heroes
While paused at ground zero.

Again the subway ride.

They arrived at Times Square
Soon to get in line where
Tickets were but half-fare;
Until then linger there.

Strolling, his hand she squoze
The gesture he returned.
What happened next, juxtaposed
With what you have just learned.

Words made him smile, bona fide.

One darker skinned than me
Pointing at tourists three,
The affection he framed
To his friends he exclaimed,

“That’s what I want! It’s love.
That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!
That’s what I want some of,
Real affection, no doubt!”

As the two events vied,
His head his heart did guide.

Copyright © 2013 H.K. Longmore