Parris Garnier


We’re just 2 elbows at the rail ’til I lean over and lay
a stage whisper on the bar about how that screaming
eagle hung over the mirror flew in here by mistake
(this being Franklin’s), and if Ben had had his way
it would’ve been a turkey, and she looks me dead
in the eye in that mirror and says, You ask me,
it oughta be a tree stump. 

I call for shots of 18 Year Wild anyhow, she buys
a round, I go the next, we get late enough to share
a cab so I’m explaining how K is really J Street when
she stalks off at 12th and Mass -- turns back, leans in
the window with a wicked-sweet pout, says, What,
the whole night you don’t try to get in

Well, she’s no Miss Alpo and her teeth’re pretty
good so I look her straight in the cleavage as
the cabbie asks her how long should he wait --

Mixing 6 shots down with 5 flights up makes no
romantic potion, but I hold my complaint as she
fumbles with the key and opens up the whole
motel in my lap and moves me in -- must be over 18
years gone, since we’re sittin’ at his high school
graduation here, and I only bring it up when I see
that same flaming eagle perched atop the stage, so
I lean over, nudge her elbow, and sorta whisper,
What the hell you mean, a tree stump?

She grins 18 full years of wicked at me, licks real
slow along her teeth (which still look pretty good)
and says how she got it from her Momma -- that,
and a taste for Turkey, and how to cook sweet
white meat clean off the bone -- as my shorts grow
visibly uncomfortable, I blink and say, I guess
that cab’ll have to wait a whole lot longer yet. 

Date of Birth: November 21, 1951
Location: Washington, DC
Occupation: Limo Driver
Publications: Exquisite Corpse, Wordwrights, Rogue Scholars, Stirring
Awards: Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Junior Scholastic Poetry Achievement Contest (1965)
Other: Frequent reader at Washington, DC, and Buffalo, NY, venues

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