A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

Shrine for 16

by Susan de Sola

For he considers the top of his bureau.
For he has been given a damp rag, and urged to create order.
For he has bottles of Giorgio and Axe, and centers each on a Heineken beer mat.
For he has folded two pairs of sunglasses—cheap and never worn—but kept.
For he has made a diagonal display of three oversized watches—manly, fake,
        and much wanted (yet his phone has displaced them).
For he has dusted three ashtrays and four lighters.
For he has scattered a profusion of pot pipes, three with ornamental stamp City of Amsterdam.
For he has a frosted shot glass printed with cannabis leaf.
For he has two cool Buddhas to keep watch, the fat and laughing kind.
For he has made his center-piece a bottle of Bacardi Raz (proof he’ll be 18), its seal unbroken.
For it is flanked with two cocktail glasses from a disco, in yellow and blue, bearing stamped
         images of surfboards.
For he has kept my cut-up Amex card, it too is cool.
For he has two boxes of condoms (still in their cellophane), in tangerine and teal.
For he has kept two well-creased Durex singles still in their foil, often rubbed in
         contemplation between finger and thumb.
For a big bong squats left, a Balmoral cigar case rising improbably from its funnel.
For he has a bottle opener decorated with a scorpion.
For he has a pencil sharpener shaped like a deck of playing cards.
For his key ring bears the ancient profile of the Playboy bunny.
For he has kept a Jagermeister mini from our hotel bar.
For he has a laser in the form of a tiny pistol, that once caused a flap at airport security.
For he has hung above these things a fallen street sign, whose arrow now points northwest.
For he has impaled a beer mat on the nail that hangs it.
For on the nail dangles a bottle opener, an ergonomically shaped female torso in tin.
For it is ready for the grasp of his puppyish, over-sized hand.
For he has set on the lip of the bong a plastic doll: a yellow, white-gloved, grinning M&Ms man.
For he waxes manly and grows boyish.
For he grows.

Susan de Sola is an American poet living in the Netherlands. Her credits include Measure, Light Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, Fringe and Ambit, and she has won the David Reid Translation Prize for poetry.


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