Everything Reminds Me of Jazz
I like little things. The tiny and irrelevant. A diminished
7th at a rock concert. An earwig mothering
eggs into a world that wishes
them harm. I feel sorry for Pluto (dismissed
from the adults' table) crying in his cranberries,
exercising in his room, struggling to grow.
What use are grace notes of cellophane
tape lost among shards of wrapping paper?
The old man hoarding blue pills, hoping for a reason
to swallow them. The brief prayer on the lips of an atheist.
An empty ring box from another failed
marriage. Thrown rice that were never seeds.
No PR's needed for the small and consequential,
the virus conspiracies, the petite
cancer cells (armed with daggers) waiting
in dark alleys of the body. All of them stars
of this week's show.
Where are the headlines when a heartbeat
goes missing? No pinprick of blue or improvised
rhythm. Only a bass thump, a snare snap.
A small call, an even smaller response.
Measures and measures with nothing to play.
The Last Nights of Ecstasy
At McDonald's, a young boy asks a blind lady
if she is afraid of the dark. I only believe
in things I can't see, like my white cane or next week.
In the midst of their love affair,
a couple never unbuttons the middle
of the night, never trusts its moist conversation.
The blind lady asks the boy
if furniture moves when no one is looking.
Then asks him the color of his cane.
Le Hinton is the author of five poetry collections, including The Language of Moisture and Light (Iris G. Press, 2014). His work has been widely published and can be found in The Best American Poetry 2014, Little Patuxent Review, the Baltimore Review, and outside Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, incorporated into Derek Parker's sculpture Common Thread.