October 2014

I Love Barbie Taylor  Miles David Moore - Scene4 Magazine Special Issue - October 2014

Miles David Moore

          "I Love Barbie Taylor.  T. Mc."

(graffiti spray-painted on a since-demolished wall in Arlington, Va.)


It's official now.  T. Mc. no longer

loves Barbie Taylor—not for the commuters

on I-395 who for eight thousand yesterdays

read passion in three-foot schoolboy script.

Today the bulldozers came, and romantic

words became rubble, to be cleared away

for the ritual mating of asphalt and earth.


But what of real love? Did Barbie and T.'s

live past demolition, or die long before it?

Did T.'s love leave the wall?  Was Barbie's ever there?

When Barbie laid azure or emerald or onyx

eyes on T.'s declaration, did she roll them

in ecstasy or embarrassment?

Did Barbie and T. find out too late

that love can squall and soil itself,

or wither in a stranger's wink, or survive

the fatal screech of cars against each other?


Or did Barbie and T., a couple not perfect

but comfortable with their familiarity,

see their wall come down with a pang for youth

so long gone, so shortly gone,

hold hands for the millionth time, and wave

at T. Junior walking with his first girlfriend?

If the earth has an answer, the dozers drown it out.

Their burring voices shake the overpass

where "Todd Loves Tiffany" appeared last week

and echo in the park, rustling the oak tree

where Isaac has loved Maude a hundred years.





      Full Moon on K Street


The moon has your face tonight,

hiding behind black-violet veils

of clouds, coy, intimating nothing.


Like an orange outside the grasp

of a starving child, you stab my heart.

All longing is the same.


No natural light penetrates

this street; the lampposts rule.

The high-rises have mothered


them from their concrete wombs,

bidding us rejoice in coldness,

disdaining the celestial tease.


The moon has phases.  Though I pray

not, you might be one.  The clouds

pull tight, tight around your mouth.





            The Good Fight


The English Channel surged below you,

its waves licking American bones.

It was D-Day Plus Fifty, Utah Beach,

and all five-foot-three of you

with a thousand other nurses, helmeted,

full-field-packed, clambered down

the rope ladders swaying against the ship.

The transports were like children's toys

bobbing below.  Don't look down,

don't slip, your commanders told you.

Your pack will drag you straight to the bottom.

The Norman fields boomed in the distance

as the waves moaned their hunger.


Sixty summers distant from France,

the explosion was in your brain.

You take lessons on how to lace a shoe,

how to walk with a cane.

Your voice, musical as always,

lilts over the nursing center's phone:

Honey, I'm going home today.

Could you call my mom and dad

and tell them to come get me?


Mother, you climb a ladder now.

The sky is hazy above you,

a fog of dreams and memories.

The decades are your backpack now.

Please don't look down.  Please don't slip.

You fight the good fight, now as then.





"I Love Barbie Taylor.  T. Mc." and "Full Moon on K Street" appeared in The Bears of Paris (Word Works Capital Collection, 1995).  "The Good Fight" appeared in the anthology Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, published by Gival Press. 

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Scene4 Magazine — Miles David MooreMiles David Moore is a Washington, D.C. reporter for Crain Communications Inc., the author of three books of poetry and the Cinema Critic for Scene4.
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October 2014



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