The morning's grown dark
with storm clouds. There's just
a little muted light in this
room, water rushing through
the rusted pipes in the walls and the sound
of the wind moaning in the house.

A Baroque guitar with missing strings
stands upright
in the corner.
Toulouse-Lautrec's cabaret dancers
highstep across the wall.
Shadows observe them.

I've reach the point of no return
This time with my creditors.
They call and I don't answer.

I just lie
here on the sofa, listen.

I climb up off
the sofa, and stare out this gray window

the morning is dark.

Two doves sail high against
the storm,
then depart.

And the mango tree I planted
years ago - the one that never
grew -

looks nervous.

Chinatown Square

It must be a qin or a mandolin or something
weaving its delicate soul around the Red Dragon
Cafe... as keen shadows creep up the old
brick walls, there's a circle of people mingling
around the fireplace, and I am drinking
Tsingtao next to a Chinaman in a soiled trench
coat, who doesn't bother hiding the side of his face
that's melting or his eyes like spent little
amoebas. It's midnight,
midwinter. In the doorway, this sawed-off
hitman is awash in neon light, and the misshapen
skull of his restless yes-man huffs
Lucky Strikes... while The Bellflower Lady
descends the staircase wearing purple sequins
and a see-through dress, rogue tongues
of color lick the heavy curves of her supple breasts...
a fang of gold flickers
between them as she wanders past
the window. Snow outside is beautiful and falling
and the sidewalks are frozen. But inside here
there's a fire
and ghosts which are alive.


the sea is bright green, almost
mystical in the sunlight
as it moves beneath me
a tugboat with tires on the side

drifts quietly past the jetty
a dragonfly whispers in my ear
nothing and somebody's

fingers weaving palm fronds
into roses and daydreams
as the sun-ravaged old man
whose hair is a white flame

wanders off-shore with his
cast net, a gull distinctly
cleverly cries
bluefish like little pieces
of silver mind leap outside the breakwaters

and below my feet, the sea
is playing mournfully
her deep and timeless nocturnes

M.P. Powers has poems published or forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Ghoti, Main Street Rag, Zygote and many others.

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