Two Poems

by Mark Petrie

Study

Perhaps in a world next door to this,
in a universe like the back of our eye lids,
our minds float in giant bubbles, carrying a mix

of scientist looking types with long white
coats, who sport a garden variety of beards
and spectacles who chalk down your figures,
and carry your remainders across a rotating
blackboard. Your mind scans the lines
of Milton’s “Cromwell;” each scientist plays
their part, tracing the meter, attaching the end
rhymes, sketching on both sides of the black-
-board, very nice and neat, your mind;
like Fur Elise on a harp, your mind. Then,
a noise, and your folks look up to catch mine
floating by,

where inside scientists rummage through Marianne Moore’s “Grave,”
……….they search for props to reenact the images,
slinging      scarves and masks           out of old
……….chests,                      boots,
…………………dresses,
…………………………………..wigs                and heels;

……………………………………………..one scientist
……………………………….stands in a hula-hoop he calls the sea
…………………………….looking down at a blue scarf lain for affect;

three women in tweed
……..coats rub their chins at him
………………….while a fellow with a monocle

crafts              little fish
out of construction paper.
And then, one

at a time,

………we see you and you see we,
……………and we smile big
………..at our respective limbos.

* * *

Stable

That summer night in Fort Collins,
you looked like an 18 wheeler
on an Oklahoma interstate, big
and shaky as hell.

You spun across the porch
in your blue jeans and boots
like a ballerina

with cinderblock feet,
kicking rocking chairs
and ousting moths,

sending all the insects
running for cover,
and in one dangerous motion,

you pumped up the volume
on the little black speakers,
opened the mini-fridge,
and beered yourself.

I asked how you’d vote,
asked what star that one was
and to tell the jail story again,

and then when the sky became maroon,
asked if you preferred horses or dogs
and you chose horses,

which came as a surprise.
I hadn’t known you yet,
as the galloping sunset type.

but then you said, rising
from your lawn chair,
But you ride stallions;
I, a mare,

as if I fed you fish heads in the basement;
as if we’d never even tried the fox trot;
as if I hadn’t bought the beer
slipping from your hand.

Mark Petrie grew up in Arizona, but currently resides in New Orleans. He is a graduate student at the University of New Orleans where he studies poetics and literature under the guidance of several talented and experienced professors. He enjoys playing basketball, cooking, and annoying his cat.