…many of them small children with what appeared to be bullet holes in their temples.
—New York Times, May 26, 2012, regarding events in Houla, Syria
A little nuts? No, not us.
We tip our amber concoctions
off up-glass lips and discuss
the ruckus south of the Sahara,
the stink of Syria’s chaos, religious
lust in the shootings of rival sects’ young,
the effects of bourbon versus gin,
her crush on the Cialis commercial man,
sex without trust, sex with boots on ….
It’s almost the solstice. The light’s long.
It comes through the blinds’ slats sliced
into bands of bright dust, stripes everything
such that the sunset casts a chart
of our days and nights on the walls
and tablecloths, tunics and scarves ….
The few seated, in pairs, heads close,
some stroking the stems of their glasses,
talk, unaware the help itches
to straighten up and walk out from behind
these dark and light bars, into the unbroken
vista the dusk will paint to erase —
we and the rest of the hangers-on linger
over our last sips. We overhear
travel plans — Barcelona, Sitka,
Jerusalem …. There is always more
to discuss. The dimming beams deepen
to match what’s left of our drinks. Yes,
back to that news item — where was it
again, where the children were marched
outside, lined up, and shot in the sun?
Jed Myers is a Philadelphian living in Seattle. Two of his poetry collections, The Nameless (Finishing Line Press) and Watching the Perseids (winner of the 2013 Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), are 2014 releases. Recent recognitions include Southern Indiana Review’s Mary C. Mohr Editors’ Award, the Literal Latte Poetry Award, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod International Journal, Crab Orchard Review, JAMA, Fugue, Atlanta Review, I-70 Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Blast Furnace, Assisi, The Tusculum Review, and elsewhere. He works as a psychiatrist with a therapy practice and teaches at the University of Washington.