3 POEMS
Robert Beveridge

CRANBERRIES ON ICE

 

This could be

the only hotel in Wales

where live lobsters are served

to unsuspecting customers

 

they must paint them

that peculiar shade of red

only achieved

in boiled lobsters

and the eyes of hardcore drunks

 

one man, drunk, itinerant,

gets fingers pinched

by a mischievous lobster

 

undaunted

he pries it open

and starts to eat

*

 

DOING LUNCH WITH JESUS

 

They thought

about ordering sandwiches,

but He kept dripping

on the rye,

 

so they settled for pizza,

where the stains

wouldn't show as much.

 

They're sitting 

out on the porch

in a little cafe

in New Hope, Pennsylvania,

 

just across the bridge

from that great big glow-in-the-dark

garden Golgotha
He now calls home.

 

He's been incognito these last two thousand years,

shaved his head

and moved to Libya

after the ascension trick,

then emigrated

to America

at the outburst

of World War I.

 

The interviewer, swallowing

a bite of pepperoni,

notes that He

looks like Willem Dafoe

in the epic film

about his life,

except He, in the flesh,

is wearing jeans and sneakers.

 

He did let the mustache

grow back, at least.

 

The two sit

in a momentary lull in conversation

and sip Pernod,

staring out

at West Mechanic St.

 

He speaks

before the interviewer

can grab a pen:

 

“There was a hit and run

at this corner

some years back.

 

The poets

had a field day with it.”

 

Flustered, the interviewer

scribbles a few words:

“Hit and run—W. Mechanic—

poets field,”

 

but his subject

is already talking

about life in Persia

in the 13th century.

 

*

 

SANCTUARY

For Allison Beveridge

 

It is a common door, the same 

as the other twenty-five on the hallway.

Brown, handle, peephole in the knocker,

a place to run a fob. It’s the payoff

for the caress of plastic on plastic,

the blink of the green light,

that sets this door apart.

                                        Beyond,

the place itself is small, functional.

A kitchen just big enough to cook

for two, a space for a child to play,

love seat to curl up and watch movies,

comforting and comfortable bed

with two sets of pillows. An escape

from a world full of errands that must

be done just so, endless paperwork

and too many storage boxes. I’ve put

two steaks on the grill, potatoes 

in the oven. All that is required of you

is to pick up a fork, talk about nothing.

___