"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

Begonias in My Brain

Begonias in my brain to water,
bloom then droop to dead
forgotten and rotten like the
love lost of the man with the
big ears that lives on the third floor
and yells profanities out his window
I think of how he
never changes his socks,
I don't know why.
The smell sweating through my building's
vents nestling near Lily who hugs
a raggedy patchwork doll and waits
for her daddy to come home who
never arrives, not even after fifteen years.
Good God! Good God! am I finally slipping
through the cracks?

Your snagged pantyhose and
snow cone stained sweater are tacky,
Tackiness is concrete.
My snotty sneezes from spring's pollen
budding begonias in my brain blinded
by the flickering neon of a fast food
Indian joint reminding me to take out
the trash. Trash on the fire escape,
trashy lingerie, I was once trash in a
trailer park before I fell in love,
before I chased her into the city only
to lose her in the subway,
or did I lose myself down there?

Walking out my front door I hear music.
Music once made me happy.
McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Etta James,
Mose Allison, Duke Ellington.
I wore a suit and smoked cheap cigarettes
begonias in my brain;
I sat in the front row blowing kisses
at a silhouette in a sequined dress
thinking of clever things to say to
woo her into my bed while drinking
scotch and falling out of a straight backed chair
and am picked back up by a broad shouldered man
throwing me outside into a black alley,
it was comfortable there, familiar.

I grab for your hand, popcorn change jingles
in my pocket, you say I should use it to
rent a bike and double ride you
not to buy popcorn,
I give you the finger, I like popcorn.
Together we walk down the street
our brains,
I now, like a disco king in an electric
blue jacket. Children double dutch
and draw hopscotches on cracked
concrete where pigeons land inside
numbered squares as if playing the
innocent game, carrying toilet paper,
poems, grasshoppers, Jujubees, and begonias
in their beaks as if they were witches
gathering ingredients to make a secret potion
to catch my love on the subway or
quiet the silence of the
begonias that have taken over my brain.

Brie Huling