LUNCH WITH THE REAL WORLD

Little men haul pennies between my feet
as I rain crumbs upon their hearts, and hats! 
Perilous world, balanced between duty and art,
and in danger of being called cute, the gut-blow


to the god-laborer, who connects the dots
between the splitting helix and the prowling
cat.  My eyes reach no further than yours.
But you are an ornament to their industry


a mountain in the backdrop so men may toil
by your elbow, unpeppered by bile.  Women
reading novels, reclined upon a pile of coins,
by the river of coins, men's collars no cleaner


than yours, such poor choice, white as a
hare, and to follow such an unfruitful trend!
Wear your clothes dark, let your woman
lounge on a bed of pennies, and to you too


small happinesses shall descend. 
                                                            Inside, Sinister
has stormed the stairs, the king falls to secure
the chain of cause and effect.  A kingdom  
and what scales decide this shattered shell


and assassin flaunting his piece shall alter
the physics of the domain?  Could a guy
polishing a phone have some bearing on
the fall of an egg?  Yet the caravan edges


on the tower, and bronze men hoping to rise
pray metal pleases the king, etching a place
in the claybooks, a post on the concrete.
But have we sealed his fate? god-witness


on a bench, along with the guard who draws
too late, the pigeon sulking in the eaves.
Violence in the river, but the king has cracked.
The eye follows the line to the main.


The fall in tripartite space, like a tapestry
among monks, only your insistence has drawn
us into oneness with the event.  A shadow,
like blood, stained on each split of the reel.


Ketchup over lunch, arc of cherry flicked
off a cigarette  I see you are taller than the
tower when you stand.  But then I am sitting
and thinking about death in public spaces.


Jason Lee
JASON LEE has recently had poems published in the online zines smallspiralnotebook.com and strangehorizons.com. He graduated from Vassar College, having studied creative writing, and has since taught English in Korea and worked various jobs in New York. He spends his weekends playing ultimate frisbee, and trying to write.
TAR