Three Poems by Richard Garcia

The History of White Anklets

The first white anklets fell from the sky during the age of the dinosaurs. Nobody knew what they were because there was nobody to wonder. Dinosaurs poked at them with their snouts, but since they had never been worn, they had no scent. One anklet hung from a branch of the first primordial tree. A volcano erupted, covering the tree with lava. The branch and the anklet became a fossil. Today, that fossil is stored in the basement of the Smithsonian. It has always puzzled scientists. What is it, that thing hanging from what could be a tree branch? One theory is that it is the ancestor of all flowers. In Victorian times poets wore white anklets to bed. The anklets were attached to each other by pearl buttons. It was thought that the anklets, buttoning their feet together, would prevent the poets from walking in their sleep. Even today, you can see white anklets of famous poets in the White Anklet Museum in the very small town of One House, Nevada. Granted, few people visit the White Anklet Museum in One House, Nevada. Few people visit One House, Nevada. But those who take the time to do so are never disappointed.

ferengeti feet with lambani toe rings, anklets

“ferengeti feet with lambani toe rings, anklets” (image via Flickr user Ben Piven)

Helen’s Birthday

One February fourteenth a cloud came to stay at Helen’s house. The cloud did not know it was Valentine’s Day. It did not know it was Helen’s birthday. It was a shy cloud, and was hiding from the rudeness of cannon fire, although the war had been over for some years. It was the only cloud that had rained fountain pens. Helen sat on the couch with the cloud each afternoon. She told it her secrets. She whispered to the cloud, I saw Mia Farrow in her underwear. The cloud was glad it came to her house. Sometimes the cloud would leave an antique fountain pen between the cushions. It liked to look out the window at the passing clouds. Although the cloud never spoke, Helen knew the dropped pens were signs of affection. She read to the cloud stories of trying times. Often she closed her eyes and imagined she was a nightclub dancer in Cairo, Egypt, but she was really an Allied spy known to her handlers by the code name, Tiffany. Helen showed the cloud her awards and diplomas. Her awards and diplomas that lined the wall above the couch. Her awards and diplomas that drifted across the wall in the morning light.

Room 77

Subject appears to be pretending to fly. Upon further review, correction: he is flying. The successive walls of the cubicles seem to slow him down, but he does penetrate the building without too much effort. Once outside, he begins to rise into the sky. A sunset, something rather tropical, has been provided.

Richard Garcia will have a book of prose poems, The Chair, published by BOA in October 2014. He can play the jaw harp.