By Fabrice Poussin

Carnival 2020

Mardi-Gras in April
extending those days of glee
when revelers saunter the avenues
seeking another merry melody.

Yet they lack the luster of old
hiding in shame behind blue fabric
they wish they might breathe
inhale forgiveness in the shadows.

Stumbling in fear of the unseen
they stare at their kin on the other side
smiles erased by the feeble mesh
pleas fleeting within their breasts.

Pastels will quickly fade in the rain
sad reminders of brighter omens 
ghosts soon to outnumber the crowds
amid clamors echoing into the void.

Homeless in 2031

What a hardship it may be to carry
those wrinkles to the unavoidable hyper store
delaying the age of walking devices
to assist with steel when the flesh fails.

Practice makes perfect when one goes alone
decades with the leather gloves deep
in worn out jean pockets
a frown made for an ancient bronze.

She sees the masses passing in a blur for
they have not yet learned the art of a slow dance
to prepare for the ultimate waltz with the stars
to them the quest for processed lives matters most.

Hands on an old quilt, repository of dynasties
she still sits on the front porch as
the paint peels and flies with the breeze
no one greets her in this deserted land.

Her thoughts are secret now, her eyes
fixed onto a miracle only she can discern
beyond the thinning envelope of her past
there seems to be little to anchor this old soul.

Her suitcases are packed, piled in the dark corridor
her destination mysterious as it is certain
she will leave little behind but a shell of a house
carcass to be erased as if it had been built for ghosts.

If I had a Gun

If I had a gun
it would have nine chambers
one made of chocolate and another
of caramel.
If I had a weapon like that
I would dip it in a white cream
made of whipped butter
and powdered sugar.
If I owned a revolver
it would sing with every shot
a melody made in Heaven
every night before I dream.
If I hid an instrument of death in my bedroom
I would devour it with strawberries
and smile with every bite
at that silly lady with a scythe.
But you will find nothing of the sort
in my humble abode
unless of course you think of ice cream
as a deadly nectar.

Looking for Something to Give

It is holiday season every day when you care
from a distance or in the arms of a treasure.

There is no dissing those grand souls
thrown upon a quest to buy a token of pleasure.

In rags they dream for a moment of a smile
they will soon see on the lips of a child.

It may be in a humble store where all costs a dollar
where they discover the gift of a lifetime.

Eager to say words they cannot find
they will let the present speak of the affair.

Perhaps it will be an embrace with a makeshift card
made of newspaper clippings and colorful maps to the world.

His eyes shining with the glow of a heart he means to deliver
he knows he has little in his pocket but a handful of fancies. 

Vanish the Dreams

Long haired behind the football
intent on the move to win the game
he was ready to run the gauntlet
with that smile to take him so far.
Simple goals to play with the coming years
at home with an aging family
no large screen to distract from
the grandeur they were to achieve.
Land galore surrounding this boy
so slender in the evening breeze
he could not see beyond his younger years
now a horizon so distant, so full of promise.
New machinery clamored his name
herds sang a song to his future
so gleeful he was to be alive
it seemed spring was a constant companion.
But now he sleeps with the ancestors
those warm days cut down in the dead of winter
by the careless attention of a neighbor
who could never think even of a friend.  

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. 

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