The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Tiny Points of Life

Mango Shampoo

Two minutes.
Mangos and papayas
Even kiwis,
I am to understand,
Are in the shampoo

Tropical renderings
Wrap the apple
Green bottle
Like wet
Jungle skin

Two minutes, it says.
I wait, I read
Holding the bottle,
Like a guava from the branch,
My roots reinvigorating

Real mango. 
I am assured. Real!
One hundred percent

Eyes stinging
Foaming with banana
And plum
And island delights
Like … Cocamidopropylbetaine.

Two minutes.
Waiting, waiting
And I ask that
Which I already know:

Because it is here
And she is not
And this is all
I have left
To get through the day

if I cannot have her
Then I can carry her
In the air
About my head

Her essence
In the ephemeral
Whitish globules
Of Genuine Aromas
Frothing my face

She took the clock
By the bed
And her books, and the cat
Her cat, but still
Like a thief in the night.

Cleaned out the fridge,
The bread and the fruit,
Mangos and kiwi
Bananas and plums
And the ice.

Two minutes.
I am marooned
On this stinking,
Sinking olfactory
Island of memory.

She is sailing now
She and her cat
And the clock
And the ice
And all the real fruit

Crossing oceans
To golden forests
Where sunlight slips
In braided ribbons
From sweet blue air

Where mangos
Hang heavy
To the palm
And others
Sing her name

Two minutes.
Marooned, here,
Where water slips
In braided ribbons
Along the tile to the drain.

Where there is nothing left,
But the keys on the counter
And this apple
Green bottle
Of verisimilitude.

Four minutes.

And now,
I must condition.

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