Katherine Holmes

Secret passageways of sleep
                             led me to a room
and a coffeetable
clique of cushions and fascinations

away from the brand-new banalities
                             the shopped-for impudences
right off the street
of our backwater backdoor greeting

but I had taken the secret passageways
                             of parties, wanting to
hang at the edge
of the exclusive coffeetable when

the Merlin of first experience
                             appeared out of
nowhere (like a
joke or a punning last name)

his was the outlandish introduction
                             an atavistic kiss
gaucheing everyone out
awful because such sorcery could happen

Tom Jones could sing, “Oh, What
                             a Beautiful Morning”
to a crowd of
coffee-needy philharmonic musicians.

I said, “Look what you've done now”
                             at the turned away
coffeetable heads
and we were alone together again when

we were not, so of course he vanished
                             and I made my way
to a rickety party
where I no longer had a ride home.

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