Uptown

By Kim Secunda

Leonard Cohen meets Nina Simone for drinks Wednesday 2:15 uptown
 They share a dentist    share clam chowder
 he chain smokes          she bites her nails

       the rain is bossa nova slantwise

 neon outside the pane bleeds both venous and arterial
 her new crown aches more than her love
 he uses up both their napkins and coasters jotting lyrics
 
they don't go upstairs 
in the foyer til-next-time air kiss is glassy lake water
under the folds of his secrets beats an erratic heart
in the fold of her adroit nicotined clasp is his mother- of- pearl cufflink
 
Upstairs
 
Helen Keller sweeps hardwood halls
red and blue winks of neon are lost on her
but not the hum of roses and gin
John the Baptist and Ajax are in the tub rubbing out rusty helices of hard water
Van Gogh chops onions with Mae West in the kitchen with Dinah
Einstein is switching out chandelier bulbs
Bugs Bunny is on the sofa dreaming dark matter
Gandhi tidies up the linen closet
Zsa Zsa Gabor cuts her toenails alone in the bedroom
under the bed is Frida Kahlos' cigar box of dead hummingbirds

the apartment above is empty

in the stairwell Geronimo coughs up blood

4th floor
 
is an ice rink that never closes
music is live    cotton candy fresh
& it is easy to fall in love

5th floor

Lucille Ball knits a sweater of rainbows in the sunroom
Professor Plumb lights a candle in the library
Thumbellina ices a cake in the pantry
and Cinderella takes a break
 
Attic

Tammy Faye Baker is a human Skil saw
she shreds the roof to bits with her Super Manicure
freeing all the people trapped by hurricane Katrina
shingles fly like feathers in a slumber party pillow fight
her ferocious eyelashes replicate and become perfect black angel wings
for those looking over Jordan

 Across the street

Tesla is enthroned 
Dryer # 14   Beaus School of Beauty
pretends to do a crossword   uplifted
gaze grafted to the reflection over the back bar
above a pyramid of cotton balls pale potions licorice bobbypin glint
a tableau of pigeons
tenacious to the second story sills’ grace
nestles in crimson & sapphire synaptic strobe nimbus rapture
indifferent preening lays this man to waste
ozone cologne current amplifies
fine attention conducted in ethereal vacuum
majesty in rain

Out back

Moby Dick deadheads daisies
Dolly Parton changes a tire
Jackie Chan waxes his legs
Galileo gulps a lime slurpy

It is 2:15
raining
Otis Elevator takes his
Time 
ties his shoe

In the Basement

Under sway of naked bulb 
Peter P. writes a letter of apology to his wife
Sasquatch eats peanut butter from the jar
Mr. Rogers puts on his sweater 
while Mary Magdalene shovels coal
singing her heart out 
and out and 
out

©Kim Secunda

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