Gothic Gloves

“Gothic Gloves,” “Pass on the Space Needle,” “Napping Bulldozers”

In Issue 76 by Sterling Warner

Gothic Gloves
Photo by Ken Cheung on Unsplash

Gothic Gloves

Romancing your looking glass reflection

northern lights pierce fractured windowpanes

frame my mirrors with supercharged

atoms displaying rhythmic finesse

each particle a proficient flamingo soloist

in step with a blinking star metronome

the power moon watches on as babbling brooks

build tension—gargle notes sent skywards.

Like Erik, the Phantom’s lover, you wander

the night, warm to songs you’d sing to your

own reflection wearing black opera glovers, take

comfort in shadows, seek music in the stratosphere,

dissident melodies floating beyond rooftops

hovering in meadows, holding court

over rogue galleries of empty dreams,

watching your image disappear in mist.

Pass on the Space Needle

Approaching Pier 57, beholding

      a flashing circle of revolving lights

lovers clasp hands, lock legs,

      kill time standing in the ticket line

imagine planting high altitude kisses

      for twelve minutes inside a gondola

as the Seattle Great Wheel gyrates

      undaunted by weather, privacy ensured

slowly, smoothly, rising 175 feet

      overlooking Elliot Bay; bodies below

resemble ants escaping a formicarium

      random, disorganized, moving inside

building, blending into shadows;

      families usher children into berths

young bodies all eager for loading

      to cease & aerial motions to begin

while parents plan on an additional

      midnight ride in the  VIP cabin—

usually vacant—that features classy

      leather seats, a glass bottom floor

& stereo sound system….

Passengers touch ground, disembark

      lofty highs, buy souvenir memento

at the Pikes Place Fish Market then

      forsake vivid sights & pungent smells

descend beneath Streets in Pioneer Square

      to gawk at Emerald City’s built on sawdust

through amethyst color lights, marveling

      at the underground city’s mysteries

while ferries streak across the bay,

      bob on waves like orca pods—on time,

unimpressed—arriving & departing at terminals

      on their own terms, drawn north, south, east & west

by a mission—not whim—all along Puget Sound.

Napping Bulldozers

Napping bulldozers lined the highway

dust & dirt collected on tar covered steel

while pea gravel from unpaved roads

pelted its sides, deflecting off bogies

hitting passing carts like shotgun blasts

leaving pits the size of a B-B up & down

the length of automotive bodies forged

from recycled beer cans & aluminum foil.

The bulldozers just slept—cold indifference

encapsulated inaction mornings & afternoons

rain or shine seemed all the same as did people

who pulled over their trucks, motorcycles

cars & vans, lounged on the metal beasts,

snapped a few selfies, concluding photo shoots

in the driver’s seat, waving to other motorists

thinking—not daydreaming—about work.

About the Author

Sterling Warner

An award-winning Washington-based author, and educator, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared literary magazines, journals, and anthologies including TROUVAILLE REVIEW, SHOT GLASS JOURNAL, SPARKS OF CALLIOPE, and FIB REVIEW. Warner’s collections of poetry include RAGS AND FEATHERS, WITHOUT WHEELS, SHADOWCAT, EDGES, MEMENTO MORI, SERPENT’S TOOTH, FLYTRAPS: POEMS, CRACKS OF LIGHT: PANDEMIC POETRY & FICTION, and HALCYON DAYS: COLLECTED FIBONACCI (Summer 2022)—as well as MASQUES: FLASH FICTION & SHORT STORIES. Currently, Warner writes, hosts/participates in live & virtual poetry readings, and enjoys retirement in Washington.

Read more work by Sterling Warner .