Two Poems


Eileen Tabios

Roman Synopsis #3
 
You could have been happy, too. I like unemployed actors waiting on tables without bemusement—they don’t confuse the job with subservience. The toddler wears a yellow dress, lace ribbons and a milk mustache that drips as she grins at me. The self-aware waiters are solicitous. On the other hand, the green box on the corner announces free newspapers but it remains as full as my brother’s belly at the end of a Thanksgiving dinner. While she has a physical ailment that bends her at the waist so that her face forever faces her ankles. Behind every leaf a stinger lurks. The matron with pearls and cellulite-ridden thighs under a butt as wide as her husband’s grin complains that Billy ignored her attempt to nibble on a baked oyster. In 1995 a certain battle killed 300 women and children, leading military strategists to nod their heads at the wisdom of using the weak as cannon fodder. My father was benign in his absence. She smiles at him because she consider anything less to be a burden she would not think to offer him. He could not have me. The moon gently but firmly penetrates a cloud. She must weigh 300 pounds, this woman attached to a three-inch bag in purple leather. The leather gleams beneath the mud. Their fathers agree in their despair. A car blinks its headlights as dusk falls like the weight of a possibility. The royal We knows little about Albius Tibullus (c. 55 B.C. - c. 19 B.C.) whom Quintilian considered the best Roman poet.
 
 
 
 
Roman Synopsis #4
 
A friend excited my husband with an invitation to pilot a boat with powerful thrusters. How can love calcify into the heightened ridge of a frozen back? I savor my last sip of café au lait—my gratitude at Joe’s Café joining the neighborhood is exponentially imbalanced. A short teenager walks a tall Dalmatian down the street and, for a wonderful interlude, all exclaim an enchanted “Aaahhh.” In someone’s eyes, a desert stretches out its arms and pretends to yawn. Vietnam today is not enamored with bicyclists and backpackers. He found his heaven on earth and you’re not listening when he notes that angels bleed. On every path a branch waits for your step. His lids are sleepy but, since it’s a permanent condition, he has learned to transcend that, too. He is taking a vacation to rediscover himself without realizing that the log cabin contains a mirror. A neighbor stole my pet pig and ate the evidence. Elsewhere, they lie side by side as the room darkens, hunger firmly clenched and both longing for unconsciousness to beget relief. Felled to their knees they fall to a familiar gesture and grope. He asked when I would return to the asphalt that so pleases me, especially after rain. The stool is high and legs nudge air. Cleverly, not a bit of metal is displayed by the boots. The colors they see are unrelenting. How you consistently open your lips when you say my name! Well, yes, but I disappoint myself for writing a poem the way Lucan created Bellum Civile: using Vergile's Aeneid as a “negative compositional model.”