Two Poems by Joseph Millar


Found in Willow Springs 73

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Next to Godliness

I like to sit with the door wide open
listening to March rain gush down on my street wearing a blue hat
from the Outer Banks
and pondering the cleanliness of porn stars,
John Holmes and Traci Lords,
their pale bodies hairless as sea creatures
glistening with K-Y or Astroglide
under the render lights.
Sometimes the storm drains
jam up with leaves
and the blonde neighbor
who lives by herself, whose                                                                        too old to be a porn star,
wades forth in galoshes
and a silver slicker
brandishing a steel rake.
This time of year you can leave
the door open.
The mosquitos haven't come out
though the cherry trees bloom, the red                                                camellias and the pure white pears.
This time of year it's good to swallow
black tea with honey and split the pink
shells of the salted hallucinatory pistachios.                                  Watching the young mother in sweatshirts and jeans,
who is just the right age to be a porn star, bundle her                  children into the green van and drive away through the rain.



There's nowhere to go
on Mondays now
like O'Brien's on Lancaster Pike.
With its smoke-stained booths
and cracked naugahyde seats,
its dartboard and single TV
showing Eagles-Redskins
or Pittsburgh-Houston.
The dark wood of its phone booth
where you could call in bets and drafts were a dime,
shots were sixty cents, Four Roses, Calvert, Seagram's.
Guys coming back from Vietnam brought reefer so strong
you had to go outside. Where you could stop and think,
where you could hear the pavement rumble under the buses and trucks, where you could lean against the back fence and watch the oak trees breathe.

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