Would You Marry Me (& other poems)

by Joanne Cole

If I were a sloth
all grey and slow and low to the ground
and you were a centipede,
Would you marry me?

If I had toes on my noses
and nails like scoops and could pick you up,
Would you marry me?

If I were pretty and tall
with hips that swayed like the Samba but liked ugly men,
Would you marry me?

If I built you a castle
with stairs made of flowers and windows like dew drops
Would you marry me?

If I whittled you a stallion that once was Aphrodite
and love left the county
Would you marry me?

If I climbed trees like a monkey
but you chose the highway
Would you marry me?

If I prayed at the alter of Leonard Cohen and Suzanne
but you liked Snoop Dogg
Would you marry me?

If my dresses were satin, laced with red ribbons
and your chaps were torn leather
Would you marry me?

If I rode into town on a mule with a cart
and you were the sheriff
Would you marry me?

If I fed off the marrow of writers like Whitman
and you liked Haiku
Would you marry me?

If I ate the red apple
while dressed in full armor
Would you marry me?

If Eve were my sister
but I the High Priestess
Would you marry me?

If my fins were translucent
and you were bright coral
Would you marry me?

If I hid behind a veil of courtesies and thank-you’s
but at heart was a tomboy
Would you marry me?

If I were a mermaid with hair spun of gold
and you were a pirate
Would you marry me?

If religion was a crutch
and we were all disabled
Would you marry me?

If I shop-lifted Prada
and the priest were your father
Would you marry me?

If the confessional were broken
and my loins granted absolution
Would you marry me?

If I were a wolf in sheep’s clothing
and the Lord was your shepherd
Would you marry me?

If I killed all the Nazis
in peace time with vengeance
Would you keep my secret and marry me?

If the weight of my love
crushed the bones in your body
Would you turn into sea shells and marry me?

If my channel were NOVA
but you liked Simon Cowell
Would you marry me?

If I got you a Ferrari
by draining your trust fund
Would you marry me?

If the world were my oyster
and you were Vermeer
Would you marry me?

If my tears turned to raindrops
when you eyed pretty women
Would you hold the umbrella and marry me?

 

Reasons I Can’t Sleep

I had Walnut Baklava at 2am

I was out of Baklava and couldn’t stop thinking about it

I am happy

I am sad

I am unsure how I feel and my therapist is on vacation

I am drunk

I am stoned

I ate a half a box of Le Pain Quotidien Chocolate Brownies because I was out of Baklava

I decided to watch the Great British Baking Show

Watching the Great British Baking Show made me hungry so I defrosted and ate the meatloaf my neighbor brought over

I remembered I don’t eat meat

I got a stomach ache

I decided to smoke more pot to get rid of the stomach ache

I looked at the clock and it was 6pm in Asia somewhere so I had another cocktail

I remembered I don’t drink alcohol

I think I sprained my ankle

I think I need a haircut

I forgot to RSVP to my Zoom meet

It’s 1pm in Africa somewhere so I had lunch

I remembered I am on a diet

I heard the dog barking

I remembered I don’t have a dog

Donald Trump

Covid -19

November 3rd.

 

The Curtain

A person came to stay.

A small room, barren by all account…
A simple, wood-framed bed for one, inviting and stoic
in its simplicity — like a soldier, erect, banished of adornments but still proud in his nakedness,
knowing his sense of duty and place in the world.

A pale wood (sea-worn from the salt air) dresser,
Four drawers.
occupies the opposite wall
morphing, almost becoming
one with the weathered stucco wall … it speaks, “I am here. I am present, but I am not important. You are. I am here for you,”

as the slender window (elegant, like a lady possessed of breeding and fortitude)
dominates,
holding court — and not just for the room, but a life well-lived in kindness.

She’d come because of the gauzy, milky-white curtain landing just below the knee …

always in motion
in reaction to
the sapphire Mediterranean sea breeze
& crisp, transparent air.

It was a good place
to come and die
she’d thought.

And so the bed lay empty.

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