Poem That Includes Venetian Gelato Glasses and Other Objects from the Smithsonian Catalogue

Sean Thomas Dougherty

The aria’s bittersweet beauty. Bittersweet as the smell of sunlight sieving through the waste water treatment plant, bittersweet we are not beautiful together & the smell of the refinery burning its Coke, trainloads of Coke crattling along the tracks where I walk. What are the odds? What are the odds of a blue rose, the clouds blowing in from Canada would spell the exact letters of your name? The pronoun for openly weeping now. For forgetting what are the odds that I’d breathe the opium of your Petite Poppy Perfume, your Peacock Dress would spread its tail & turn the afternoon papis, azul, that the mountain range would rumble like the 12th street train carrying its load of abandoned what’s-come-tos. The off duty heartbreak of the officer we talked to fishing would be adorned in a Hilo Aloha Shirt? Amid the detritus & dung, the debris & the desolation, there are Slavic accented women painting Ukrainian eggs on 4th street, as the wind tunes & the refinery smoke makes the children cough the dust of unread books, there are Pin Tucks & Petals Nightwear, there is sharing a sandwich, two tough too-loud white workers on break from building a Retirement Home, the faded Cloisonné Shamrock that adorns one’s shirt, & the large one humming Danny Boy? Are we all pushing the dollhouse furniture against the wall, & us running as the sky begins its notes & we spread the demitasse of our palms to catch & sip like old Italian women discussing the old country, the olived hills. One of us wearing the Arabesque shawl of the rain, one of us bare backed, waiting for the sparrows, with their tiny unsonged throats.

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