This morning I was the featured reader at the Friendswood Public Library; they have a monthly series there that’s just wonderful. After the featured poet, there’s an open mic, and I was really impressed with all the poems people read today. It happens the first Saturday of each month; you should check it out. It was a hybrid event today, both in person and on Zoom, and one of the open mic readers was in Washington state.
I’m sharing one of mine that I read this morning, “At the El Felix,” which was first published in the Houston Poetry Fest Anthology (2014). HPF has a juried competition every year and usually has several days of festivities around mid-October.
At the El Felix
You were more than halfway to drunk
that night we spent in a Los Angeles hipster dive,
a room painted the color of espresso
with a Jane Fonda knock-off aerobics video
playing on the TV above the bar and
the booths lining one wall half-hidden
by tangerine velvet drapes
on curved shower curtain rods.
My watermelon martini, nearly gone,
stood, a Lady Liberty among your
six drained pint glasses frothed
in creamy residue. The triangle
of fruit I’d nibbled sat moistening
the paper napkin on the sticky
wooden cocktail table. You
brought what was left to your lips
and bit the last pink flesh
from my discarded rind,
your eyes closing with each slow press
of your mouth to what I’d left behind.