Barbara Maloutas >

 

from In the Best Sense

          1
the dog as big as a house
takes the familiar pat on head
big dog is was red
spans as bridge; as, a way of it
his hair has not died, a slip she admits
“he is naturally red, then”
moving around she
wonders; he doesn’t; wonder dog
everything is now and nothing
is another one; dog found


          2
retro fitting buttresses 
below not gaudy; flying although
dignity down in the basement
so, not California; cement covered angles
basement is air-shafted
part of daily; a place to get pricked the new dog
take the basement
but you can’t, play doctor
cast in cement then
of checking everything out now
more than ever there
are no plaques
pretend the thesis
means something more than a way
massive hidden buttresses
her crooked teeth and cement
pseudo sycamores or is it cypress?
line the path not only of dream
making sense of windings
and false trees have plaques


          3

the women know
what to do
ask one distracting
question in the meantime
to get time while 
they fix the machine
call boxes on the highway
are obsolete; and so obsolete
the numbers whether dates are
the key; a combination of
terrible cooperation and focus
as holding breath
is the red dog anywhere
on the highway?


          4
she’s lost the knack
of foot massage
holding the young man
at the shore of the bed
talks him through
the tsunami; it comes in twos
there are edges
to dreams and dream series
edges are dreams
of the shore of 
conscious breathing
in wave or a series
on the edge of the bed
kali niki
speaks halfway in
love of the door jamb
can’t see her feet
the crown of her head holds her
probe slowed to bobbing
those 3000 reverse engines
to the edge of the red
five nikis in 23 tries
if nothing else
visitors to the visitor room




          5
in perfect English she
has nothing more to say
driving the bus is serious
the driver won’t let her
this is not the pregnant 
woman who wants it
amazingly the driver
leaves the bus running
the pregnant woman
is older than usual
you can’t park 
just anywhere
the driver sits back
and waits; she’s the captain
other poets are waiting
in her sleep
she can almost; remember
their lines
if she does; are they
her poems or theirs
she once spoke; another
language in dreams