Two Poems

Suzanne Parker

Portage, Ohio

        They do not make iced coffee here
        and Fox News is bolted to the ceiling,

        cranky as an old crow.

        Coffee—hot—is $.75 for a small
        and while the waitress—smiling
        a meth-toothed cominup—fixes two,


        the only other customer is blessed
        with a pancake the size of three
        regular ones, a batter-puddle morphed


        into a child’s dream, a syrup-sponge

        the circumference of an end table’s top,

        a basketball hoop, a Sunday hat’s straw brim. 


        This is a flying saucer hurled from the 50’s

        skidding to a halt at the only booth manned

        with an appetite.  Like a looking glass,


        like a low note held long, like a hubcap

        settling from the wreck of the week, it lies

        belly-up and waiting for some sweetness. 


        This is the size of a grown man’s

        leaning forward, circling to embrace it

        perfectly, hands clasped as if in prayer,


        head down, paused, or just lingering

        in the absoluteness of a gesture

        so similar to protection, so close 


        to comfort, to a time when all

        he had to do was draw the world

        into his arms and begin to sway.



Male Sex Doll Travels the Ceiling of West Irondequiot High School

        I can only ask about the engineering,
        not the 7 balloons’ worth of helium lifting him


        through the canned silence of a high school library
        into the reaches of ceiling, skylights, legend.


        No, I keep thinking not of logistics though I laugh

        at the story of his sailing across the end of year exams


        and proms and how the administration could not
        shoot him for fear of bad aim and shattered glass.


        It's the very idea of it— a male sex doll.  Really?
        How stiff can air be?  Is he seamless?


        Is his mouth open like his perennially singing
        partner's?  Would I want it forever receiving?


        Where is his heft, the delicious weight

        and width of a man's hips and how some


        hold themselves above on forearms and how often

        I'd rather they crash down, use every ounce,

        remind me of how heavy, smothering,
        pressing love can be, its necessity like stones


        piled on the chest, air slipping out and asking
        for more, more weight.  That's why my legs


        wrap around the back.  They are locking him there.
        But air-man?  Float-a-sex?  What can I possibly


        do with him? Better to leave him traveling
        the ceiling of West Irondequiot High, a corralled


        blimp rubbing against its enclosure, slowly deflating,
        until one day, when the students have long departed


        for summer, cars and their own rising heat,
        it wafts down like a spent, sullied ghost


        to drape himself across the reference section
        for a librarian to find, consider and dispose of.


 About the Writer

Suzanne Parker is a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award from Alice James Books.  Her book Viral is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.  Her poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Hunger Mountain, Drunken Boat, and numerous other journals.  She is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Suzanne’s creative non-fiction is published in the travel anthology Something to Declare. Suzanne is the managing  editor at MEAD: A Magazine of Literature and Libations.