“Barred from Every Pub Even the Burrito Place,” “Reverence” and “Heathen. Expat. Hometown Girl.”

Poetry by Devon Powers

“Barred from Every Pub Even the Burrito Place,” “Reverence” and “Heathen. Expat. Hometown Girl.”

Barred From Every Pub Even The Burrito Plaee

Teddy carries what he deems of importance

In an old trolley cart padded with terry cloth.

He holds congress with Johno and Frank

And two other silent boys in the town circle.

Their guitar looks nice on you

It is a rare occasion—

So you sing for them.

Your voice is sweet,

But like the things in Ted’s trolley,

Only certain people are deemed of importance.

I’m a lucky one today.

I join the silent boys as they suck on balloons

And marijuana with tobacco.

Earlier you left a sandwich

For a sleeping man outside the chicken shop.

I think it would be nice for him

To hear you now,

And for the large Tongan man,

Who just ten minutes ago

Wouldn’t let you into the pub,

Because your face is mean like mine—

All angles and bones; too much to contest.

Sometimes people don’t take to things

They can’t quite figure out—

But our insides are soft,

They like it when we sing.

Reverence

Our vaulted ceiling housed a choir:

a chorus of angels.

Its little cracks healed our own.

Coils surrounding the lamp

wrapped tight around our limbs.

I fell asleep on the floor

while you tinkered

with piles of cord and pedals.

I awoke to the roof—

to dancing of water from the hose,

to spray paint monikers crumbling

styrofoam surely as steel in seawater,

to lighters thrown in the chiminea

exploding like the fourth of July.

Our after-hours pub hung

crystals from their ceiling.

It felt like a church.

We drank the wine and ate the bread.

I sang with the bells.

We wept with the congregation.

Somewhere here we were

brought to our knees,

and I have not yet learned

how to get back up.

Heathen. Expat. Hometown Girl.

I have seen sunset over plateaus

And the rock that bleeds

Where the virgin statue weeps oil,

Paper bag lanterns pepper

Lightning bug rooftops.

My friends far and wide

Now bleed like the rock—

Men on horseback staining a landscape

They are small and unfit for.

Strangers too happen unannounced;

Ghosts appearing in the owl light

Searching my bedroom for treasure—

Searching the sitting room for gold.

We drink pyrite from glass bottles;

Spilling, singing, filling time.

Hand in glove, howling at the moon

All alone, but together all the same.

I’ve kissed fame on the mouth.

It tasted like cigarette filters,

Peaches, and Lorazepam—

An empty vial on a porcelain floor,

And the mighty ocean at dawn.

About the Author

Devon Powers