lives in Brooklyn, New York.
© 2005 Richard Fein
In Rare Ecstasy
paleolithic desert wanderer almost never saw his own face,
for there were no polished metals then,
and the scalding sands that callused his feet
never got hot enough to melt and then congeal into glass.
a calm oasis pool could ever reveal his sand-caked face.
And when he'd kneel down before one
to bring his parched, swollen, tongue to the water,
he'd behold his image with its tongue likewise exposed
rising from within the water and drawing close
till the tongues kissed and sated his thirst.
What a bounty his reflected countenance brought.
And his image brought one more blessing.
Whenever he'd hold his mate close to his chest
to slake that other thirst and gaze into her wide-open eyes,
he'd once again see himself in rare ecstacy.
Keeping Up Values
really looking, halfheartedly, just wanting something to read,
grabbing the first book off the library shelf,
he found upon perusal that the plot seemed familiar;
it was his own life story.
Naturally he tried skipping ahead,
but the previous borrower,
if there had been one,
spilled something sticky so the unread pages
wouldn't yield a word,
at least not without being torn to shreds,
and he had no desire to abridge this book.
With pencil in hand he reread the previous chapters,
hoping to change some lines,
but the words were indelibly fixed in print.
He was stuck in the middle,
reading the same page so often
that he memorized that he had memorized a page describing
how he was stuck in the middle,
reading the same page so often . . .
Finally he gave up and looked for the author's name
and found that he was reading an autobiography.
He tried to remember the shelf he had taken it from:
perhaps literature, perhaps art, perhaps famous people.
But when he found the shelf, it was labeled miscellaneous.
Disgusted, he returned the book to the desk clerk,
who promptly threw it in a bin
marked for the library dollar-a-book secondhand sale.
He waited for the day of the sale,
and came early to buy it quickly,
before they lowered the price to a quarter.
All work is copyrighted property of Richard Fein.
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