Featured Poem 7/22/03

Fairy Tale

It began to rain
which reminds everyone of a story.
You always leave one thing out
as you do with anything that won’t stop.
It’s easy to mistake the wind
in the leaves for applause. Wise up!
Money can buy happiness, it can buy time,
just not enough. Stupid and happy
gets you where music plays, an idea
like the past or a perfect circle.
Facts are not important until you know them.
Never to have lied, admit it,
is a kind of failure, pure.
Like building a house you know you must leave,
the importance of ground when leaving the ground.
Your mouth falls in sleep as if defeated,
then after all those happy years the kiss
wakes the princess from her spell.
Intimacy is what you conceal,
the difference between lipstick and grammar.

I always opened the door to her password
she made up on the spot,
but she wasn’t there.
Only a small river of things I’d forgotten
spilled over the pavement, a rain of good ideas
that evaporated. The drunkard’s nightmare
is what he can’t remember.
The difference between wind in the leaves
and a forest fire is the difference
between distance and depth. Heat rises
means that weight has only one direction.
The water was ambivalent;
a stain on the bedroom wall,
a pool where the gutter was clogged with leaves.
The sound the rain made in the drain
had nothing to do with me,
I was so happy.

© 2003 R. Russell

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