Rector Set

Charles Demuth's The Figure Five in Gold

Charles Demuth’s The Figure Five in Gold

For Patrick, Happy Birthday

Rector Set

Will you pay a penny if I consent to baptism?
No. Why do you want to submit?
For a better life.
He was cause for consideration

lunar eyes lichen hair, it looked soft and was
strange cetacean, discomforted I kissed
his cheek of sand. Back in the rest-
urant I pondered boys, offerings cast
beneath belief, sodden with hope.

Meanwhile, I was dating the boss, it wasn’t
equitable. I didn’t like him but we sat
together, he paid my way, I couldn’t
say which way that was
but feared its consequence.

I went back outside. I had to tell the boy
how to have a better life, and to give him
five dollars. I waited a long time thinking
of the inadequacy of words
air disappearing in altitude

life doesn’t pander, goodness
is someone’s ill, broken golden
boys coins sopping rapture
alleluia useless ransoms
without end amen. The five dollars?
I don’t know, I like five.

Finally, he came with his father
the same mix of colors, paying for
sins not his. I wondered was he
sanctified. They were organizing
a garage sale. The boy saw me
running with a box, he giddied

Do you want to buy a rector set?
Yes (teeth bared) but don’t you need it?”
No, it’s all played out.
How much? cash sweating in hand.
Five bucks, chimed he. The bill
its fist longing toward him.

Our smiles interlocked.
I dwelt on the box and its contents
joists, underpinnings, nascent tinder
what he would look like wet
his teeth flashed; illegible cenotaphs.

Can anything be shored?

The compulsion of surrender breaks
the surface, change spins
above deceptive shoals
nadirs unforeseen, choices
cast in the face of fate.




* I like five.

Rector Set is the final installment in my poetry series based on dreams, hope you enjoyed them, paz Abby

Dream series #1 Babe the Blue Ox

Dream Series #2 My Hardest Life

Dream Series # 3 Ireland

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer



For Nicola

A poet I once knew
brought me to her table
she asked her daughter
to say grace
so I would not have to
share my blessings
as was their custom
the girl proclaimed, I
will pray for Monday
and Tuesday, and you
nodding at me, can pray
for Wednesday and
Thursday. My friend
reminded the child
the point was to leave
me out of it, I don’t mind
but am I to recite
or make up my own?
Prayers are not imaginary!
they chided
The poet and I left
the table while the girl
prayed for Monday
Study this, she
pointed to a poem
that was a map
You see the airport
is a question mark?
the mystery of longitude
left unsolved the threat
of an unstable axis
memory which can never be
trusted, and every distinction
of time to the nanosecond
thick between us, gasping
Shouldn’t we get back?
It’s almost time to pray
for Wednesday

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

Dream Series #3

Dream series #1  Babe the Blue Ox

Dream Series #2  My Hardest Life

My Hardest Life

for Kitty

The guru singled me out
right away. She said–Here
take these streamers
these fans to venerate me.

I experimented whipping fans
looping streamers through
the air with feigned expert-
ise– graceless gymnast. You
may stay home when we go
to worship, but what have you
come for? I came
to learn to pray.

As if it were nothing she said
Oh, Bob can teach you that!
I examined an ornate door
in need of repair I thought
I can fix this, as Bob burst in.
Oh, it’s you.
(Bob died recently, I was
surprised to see him)
Give me your hand,
I want to read your palm

he snatched at it greedily.
This is your hardest life
he claimed. I thought, Oh good!
then thought again, knowing
there was more to come, —But
don’t worry,
he soothed, You
have the full attention of God.

Dream series # 2 the muse cat naps


© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer