Jo Barbara Taylor – Three Poems

Crime Scene

I awoke to the arctic sizzle of the air conditioner
in a small motel room on a hot Memphis-July night.
The neon “BlueFly Motel” bleached our room
through loose-weave curtains, the “Y” blinked
off-on-off every fifteen seconds, “Vacancy”
glowed hot pink.

Three crisp thwacks on the door, a sharp voice
startled me. Police. Open up. We know you’re
in there, Bobby Max, we know you’ve
got her in there with ya. We don’t want
no one to git hurt.
Bobby Max lay on top
of the sheet beside me in Hanes briefs,
his whole-self  blue in the BlueFly light.

Am I a hostage or somethin’? I thought.
No tethers. Have I been raped or kidnapped?
I remembered sex on a sleeping bag between
a silver-studded black saddle and a set of Ping
golf clubs in the back of Bobby’s Silverado.
Sure I had consented, I wondered what
Bobby Max was up to before we climbed
into the back of the pick-up.

I stole out of bed, put on my blue Graceland tee shirt
and pink Joe Boxers, tiptoed across the floor, unhooked
the chain, let it scrape the casing, opened the door,
stood back to let  the S.W.A.T. team subdue
ole Bobby Max, passed out from too much Pepe Lopez.
The cops put Bobby’s pants on, got him vertical,
cuffed his hands, ushered him out.

Officer S. Keploe picked up the keys to the truck,
I followed him out. The cigarettes on the seat
are mine,
I said, and thinking fast, added,
so are the saddle and golf clubs in the back.
He handed me the cigarettes, plopped the saddle
and golf clubs on the concrete in front of the motel.
I smiled. He got in the truck and drove away,
taking all evidence of the crime.


Sally Holmes

She sipped lemonade
from a Waterford stem,
drizzled sugared sour
down her throat, buttressed
her head at the proper angle,
nose climbing peaks, lofty
brows dismissing all below.

One white-gloved hand
rested in a crinoline puffed
lap, a white rose cradled
in her palm.

Sally drank debutante
and pissed privilege.


God Wrote:

Dear Jenny Sue,

My name is antiquated,
grizzled, a relic.
I want a new identity,
a new “handle.”
Please suggest possibilities.

I replied:

grain of sand
woolen socks
Claire de Lune
blue silk