Scoundrel Time

Two Poems by Martha Silano

Why Are You Always So Angry?

Because your soul turned out to be soil.

Because your wonderful is a wind drill.

Because you surprised me with sulfide.

Because you hiss like melting steel.

Because instead of a case of tuna,
you brought home a case of Tina.

Because you’d prefer me in a prom dress,
not writing a poem of address.

Because you’ll never understand my icy middle.

Because I asked to be an undergraduate
and you gave me an undergarment.

Because your envy entombs me.

Because your protuberance kept popping up in my texts.

Because for centuries you painted me reclining on a divan.

Because instead of being given kudos,
you wanted me stuck in a line at a kiosk.

Because you stole my propane.

Because I don’t find your fire hose gorgeous.

Because my patience runs into walls like a Robovac.

Because you make me sob like a sweaty avocado.

Because tomorrow might as well be Toledo.

Because you put me in the shit suite.

Because it’s better to divorce and conquer.

Because you’re singing singed me.


Just before twenty-five fourth graders crouched beneath
a table to be instructed on the imperatives of silence and calm,

I was teaching a lesson on haiku.
Sharing on the overhead a photo
of a frog, an example from Basho,

telling them they no longer needed
to count on their fingers, 5/7/5.
Beginning to turn their attention

to the world outside the classroom,
to a cherry tree in full bloom,
asking them to watch the petals

breaking free with each small gust,
to consider what the petals resembled.
Javier wildly waved: Snow!

Addison wrote a forest is scary.
Some were whispering.
One was confused.

One asked Do we have to?
Then we were quiet like the petals
falling to the ground.





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