By Kirby Wright


Outside the Boulangerie

Man on foot with bike shoes

Reminds me of a woman

In bright heels


Negotiating cobblestones.

I remember mother

Walking the plank


Down the hall,

Stilettos clicking for

The master bedroom.


There were bills

Owed to the master,

Bills paid in flesh


After the curtains were drawn,

The AC fired up,

And the door locked.


The man with bike shoes

Wobbles a path

Strewn with white petals.


My mother wept

When the door swung open

And the AC quit blowing.


The aroma of baking bread

Drifts from the boulangerie.

Bike man wolfs a croissant.


Mothers stroller

Discussing the weights

Of their babies.



The Unattached

A baby’s cry rattles

Awake the unattached


On a Sunday morning,

Complicating hangovers


And assorted aches

With regret and self-loathing.


Why, what’s wrong

With marriage?


Desperation sweeps the plains,

Sparked by the desire


To birth imagined children

And orchestrate picnics


Beside the diamond river.

Symphonies of calls and texts


Haunt the airwaves.

Legions of the single


Seek and surrender to partners

That might


Resemble their parents

In a score of minor ways.



The Last Aztec Mocha

She announces to baristas and locals at the coffee bar that this will be her last Aztec Mocha for a year because she’s off to Hanalei Bay tomorrow morning. There’s an avalanche of hugs and tears. She wants to be missed. And she will be missed for her purchases and tapping out of caffeine-inspired monologues on the chocolate floor.

There will be no applause when she returns in twelve months. No one will admire her strings of puka shells, sniff her pikake perfume, or ask if Kauai’s waters are warm. The familiars will have moved on to new hangouts and jobs as she waits for her final Aztec Mocha in a bar filled with strangers.



About the author:

Kirby Wright’s new book of poems is THE WIDOW FROM LAKE BLED, which contains poems written during his residencies in Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, and Martha’s Vineyard. He was born and raised in Hawaii and his Hawaiian memoir is due out in 2015.


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