Two Poems
Scott Hartwich

One Morning in Delhi

We have incensed the charmer. All along, he thought of pennies.
And now our hands have emerged with emphasis --
a sure sign of our undoing.
But the hand dance

was only the first part of chaos, what with all this buzz
about a universal language.
Now we've made him
three sheets

to the wind, and his mother whines incessantly.
Pull your left hand from darkness.
the palm is no longer

Moon River

She chewed and spit and considered
her options.
On the one hand, glory.
On the other, peanut butter.
The choice between a cap full of feathers
and a load of buckshot.

She tried to define soul, to give voice,
but the wind picked up and blew leaves
into her mouth.
And then -- parity. Nothing
could pry those lips apart.

She was a study in repose.
Hers was an intellectual party house,
complete with moveable art
and the freedom of a rooftop garden.
That wouldn't grow
unless sung to by contraltos.

You can see her dilemma, if you catch
the right angle. Otherwise,
a wall of right.
Some people have the knack
of snapping their way into your heart

and nothing will block
this ascension of mad particles,
this privy of faith.
So why her song of graceless self-pity?
Why pull skin around yourself
if empathy is a province apart?

Help her undress.
Anoint her brow
and tie her wrists to the bedpost.
If you are lucky, she has chosen glory.
If not, you will lose more than face.