You receive three rejection notices
in one week. Or perhaps you fought
with your lover. And there are still
things to say. Forget the reason.
Toast a baguette, rub with garlic,
grate a tomato, spoon onto bread and eat.
You feel funky covered with crumbs
and sound like a noisy squirrel chewing
his snack, but feel the buzz in your mouth.
Riff off of something like the article
in The New York Times
about Buenos Aires giving pensions
to published writers. Improvise:
roll the idea of moving to Argentina
over your tongue like the R’s
in Spanish class. Imagine the smell
of parrilla in the afternoon, tenderloin
and strip steak, sausages, rows
of vegetables over fresh wood.
Amp things up a notch. Catch a flight to L.A.,
celebrate an unbirthday at the Hollywood Bowl.
Order the Verano picnic basket from Patina:
lemon poached salmon in dill sauce.
After a few sips of merlot, full of piss
and vinegar, tap the guy on the shoulder
next blanket over, ask to sample his potato salad.
Lean back, close your eyes.
When Diana Krall’s smoky voice reaches
the edge of the sky, you will taste
the sweet man and salty tears in her song.
About the Author: Pat West
Pat Phillips West lives in Portland, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Haunted Waters Press, Persimmon Tree, San Pedro River Review, and Slipstream, and some have earned nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.