Such a Good Day
It is not until later,
in San Diego,
that it started.
We found this great little joint,
and we sat with the black guys
and the Mexicans and listened to
No one bothered us.
We sat on the red leather seats,
our scotches in front of us.
We watched the Mexican bartender
laugh and dance and the old men laughed too.
When I got up to go to the bathroom
you said, Baby, be careful
and I said,
Careful? Baby, I’m home.
And this was the way it was.
But later that night,
I felt it along my back,
the creeping feeling.
You see, inside, there are tarantulas.
Things with hair and too many legs that are terrible all over.
They tumble inside me, falling and crawling over each other.
I carry them everywhere, even to the other side of the country.
And I just want them to be still.
You turn off the light,
and they scurry inside me,
their legs damp from the drink.
They hate the dark.
They want me to know that,
in this hotel room at night.
They want me to stay up with them.
And what choice do I have, really?
Even after such a good day,
when we found a good place for a drink
and a good meal
and had a good walk around by the water,
they are still there,
They chew on the inside of me with their fangs.
I want them to sleep but they won’t.
I beg them, to be still,
to be quiet.
To let me go, for just one night,
just one night
after such a good day.
With his Silence
It is like gathering
all the salt from the sea
locked arthritic hands, aching.
His wife opens the water bottles for him.
There is no end to this,
I want to tell him.
No finish line.
This is life now. This is just what it is.
You are beating the cancer, yes,
but your kidneys are dying.
The knee won’t get better.
The pain will always be there.
If you are in pain,
Be honest with the doctors.
I have a whole list of things to say,
but he will lift
those pale blue eyes
sea water eyes,
like his daughters,
from the paper
and say everything with his silence.
And I know
I will be quiet, too.
Ally Malinenko has been fortunate to have been published in numerous online and print poetry and fiction journals. Her first book of poems, entitled The Wanting Bone, was published by Six Gallery Press and she recently finished her first novel. You can read her randomness at Shipwrecked Poetry or at Gypsy Campfire. She lives in the part of Brooklyn that neither the tour buses nor the hipsters come to.