Today's poem is by George David Clark

Lullaby with Bourbon

Behind you lie a hundred yards of satin
            paid out in a thin line,
trailed around the house in slinky corkscrews,
            tangled in the ficus
like a kite. Now your knees need rest, your eyelids.
            Just sit a second,
Red Dress. Our guests are gone. Let's spool
            the evening's ravel back
around you. I'll look to the dishes while you swirl
            a splash of whiskey.

The hardest task for fantasists is clearly hosting realist
            parties, pairing romance
with meatloaf on a budget of nothing. playing wit
            and waitress
to our fete-starved friends. Your grace could make
            a hospital hospitable.
but while others convalesce. you worry at some flaw.
            Even now you hold
the bourbon like a handrail. Red Dress, it's designed
            to let you fall.

In the thrift of this room where the glitz is kitsch,
            let's slide off
our seats like dolls. Tonight be big-eyed
            and porcelain
in an invincibly fabulous outfit, one stylish
            even wrinkled.
And if Saturday's not washed and pressed for us
            like laundry,
let's let it come without that pomp
            and starch.

You're cordially invited to lie down the way
            a caravan of camels
hauling bolts of velvet through the jostled night
            lies down inside
their drivers' cadenced singing. You're invited
            to be bright
and poor and young. Now invite me
            to kiss you
with your eyes closed. Red, I can taste Kentucky
            on your tongue.

Copyright © 2013 George David Clark All rights reserved
from The Greensboro Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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