PoetryIssue 04 | April 2009

Four poems by Suzanne Parker

Drinking the Morning Glass of Red

Five heavy shouldered men stand
at the bar, equally spaced, solitary
as men at a public urinal, so intimate
and forbidden is the experience.

This is not a nice brasserie.
Tables do not get wiped, those who sit
sink against the metal-backed chairs
and the smell is a brown, stuck layer
of sour wine, butts, and burnt egg.
Lottery and phone cards sell quickly
and often from the booth by the door.

Each morning finds me here.
I do not belong:  a woman,
American, idle, taking notes
and this is private

as at some point, each man slides
a lottery card across the bar, smooths it
like a creased but much read letter
and picks up the change he has been given.

They never win but simply drop
the cards to the floor as if disposing
of ash.  A quick, unseen flick.  Then,
they put on hats and head out

into their days.  Always, the drink. 
The baguette with jam.
The work-cracked hands and sigh
as one man lifts his head, eyes the card,
reaches forward
to yet another kind of work.

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About the author

Suzanne Parker has recently returned from a month in Paris where ate a lot of croissants and wrote poems about Framingham, Massachusetts. Suzanne was a finalist for the New Rivers Press Book Award in 2008, and her work has recently appeared in A Gathering of the Tribes, The MacGuffin, NYC BigCityLit, Poetry Motel, Rattapallax and others.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok