I love you with fount eyes.
With ribs that open and close to call for late waves.
Between sight and silence, these walls now exhale:
I miss you with fog teeth
Through a new shattered window that looks at the valley.
Beltrán drank two of my strongest mojitos
every noontime at Lucky Char’s Truck Stop.
I used the good mint and the heaviest muddler.
He drummed in a band and hid florid tats
under wrinkle-free P. Ellis long sleeves.
I saw blue mating panthers on his ribs
when I dared him to flash for Mardi Gras.
He believed there were mighty gods,
arrowheads, owls, noble metal-stamped faces
in our complimentary peanuts
so he’d never willingly touch them.
He sold old motorcycles but walked
with a cane of ghostly white aspen.
We talked about Che, women activists,
and agreed man will never be ready
for another Buena Vista Social Club
or to capture Il Puro in earnest.
He said he owned a building in Habana Vieja
and why don’t I visit him sometime,
never mind the boat fare, he’s got it,
open up and begin again in Havana.
Said he could mint me new coin areolas,
copper alloy would value most all sins,
so he struck and pierced them at Char’s in the cellar,
always covered my eyes with earth’s weight.
Then claimed he’s too ripe to rut and I
had to have him alone in the backseat
one night when we stopped
just in time before the pier of San Lucio:
blind driving the blind.
Never once spoke to me, only panted
and whimpered in a conch spire phone.
I could see his fiery tongue.
“Josephine, I did not take that money.
It rained and the alley was dark.
I did not take the money.
Josie, you had one hundred nickels,
“I took three of them, unstruck.
We must all pay the same.
Josie! I did not touch the rest.
“I did not touch your wallet.
Answer me, Josephine.”
My name is not Josie, so sail yourself home
to Bobo, Crete, Cayo or Hell for all I care.
“Sweet yerba buena rum bitch,” he laughed,
“you woke up ! Quick, my cane
and your blind copper coin nipple
to grave-fill my mouth against early return,
‘cause look, there it is! the last ferry.”
I come to you from sunset.
Mute snow sky shroud
sails winds into submission
sways tall aspen bald
rattles nightingale nests
in eglantine roses
shatters clangorous ice runes.
High mast luminaries
flicker on ropes
before they light
into the ground.
We kiss and bask in benediction
gild our warm lips
our worship smoke temples
with layers and layers of voices
to live here
long after we set sail
through the stone straits of fear.
Mia Avramut is a Romanian-American physician who worked in laboratories and autopsy rooms from Pittsburgh to San Francisco. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she served as an associate poetry editor for Connotation Press-an Online Artifact, and interviewed authors for Scissors and Spackle. Her poetry and prose have recently appeared in Thrice Fiction, Conclave: a Journal of Character, The Bookends Review, A-Minor Magazine, Santa Fe Literary Review, Menacing Hedge, Otoliths, Paper Nautilus, and several anthologies. She now lives in Essen, Germany.