Acts of Mind

Catherine Barnett

 
What's funny about this place
is us regulars coming in with our different
accoutrements, mine usually the little void
of space I call honey, days
I can barely get through I'm laughing so hard,
see? In the back a woman squeezes oranges,
someone presses the fresh white bread
into communion wafers or party favors.
In the window the chickens rotate blissfully,
questioning nothing--
Sometimes I flirt with the cashier, just improvising,
the way birds land all in a hurry on the streetlamp across the street,
which stays warm even on cold nights.
Guillaume says humor is sadness
and he's awfully pretty.
What do they put in this coffee? Men?
No wonder I get a little high. Remember
when we didn't have sex on the ferris wheel,
oh that was a blast,
high, high above the Tuileries!
 
Copyright © 2013 by Catherine Barnett. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on October 7, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Poems by This Author

Chorus by Catherine Barnett
So who mothers the mothers
Living Room Altar by Catherine Barnett
Except for the shirt pulled from the ocean,
Providence by Catherine Barnett
This evening I shared a cab with a priest
Sojourn by Catherine Barnett
My son took a picture of me
Sweet Double, Talk-Talk [iv.] by Catherine Barnett
I know agape means both dumbly
Textbook & Absence (Anatomy) by Catherine Barnett
At school he studies the human body


Further Reading

Poems about Desire and Wanting
At a Window
by Carl Sandburg
Continuity
by A. R. Ammons
Driven by a Strange Desire
by Mónica de la Torre
El Beso
by Angelina Weld Grimké
For the Man with the Erection Lasting More than Four Hours
by John Hodgen
If There Is Something to Desire, 9, 17, 18
by Vera Pavlova
Monody to the Sound of Zithers
by Kay Boyle
Photographs of the Interiors of Dictators' Houses
by Albert Goldbarth
Reprise
by Deborah Brown
Screening Desire
by R. Zamora Linmark
Tackle Football
by Dan Chiasson
The Forecast
by Michael Dumanis
The Problem of Hands
by Louise Mathias
To George Sand: A Desire
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Poems about Anonymity and Loneliness
"My True Love Hath My Heart and I Have His"
by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
79
by Joachim du Bellay
Don't Let Me Be Lonely [There was a time]
by Claudia Rankine
Alone
by Maya Angelou
Alone for a Week
by Jane Kenyon
Angel of Duluth [excerpt]
by Madelon Sprengnether
At a Window
by Carl Sandburg
Beyond the Pane
by Greg Hewett
Boston
by Aaron Smith
Danse Russe
by William Carlos Williams
Dear Lonely Animal,
by Oni Buchanan
Demeter in Paris
by Meghan O'Rourke
Donal Óg
by Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory
Drawing from Life
by Reginald Shepherd
Eating Alone
by Li-Young Lee
Found Poem
by Howard Nemerov
Gospel
by Philip Levine
How I Am
by Jason Shinder
How the mind works still to be sure
by Jennifer Denrow
How to See Deer
by Philip Booth
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I Am!
by John Clare
I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)
by Emily Dickinson
Isolation: To Marguerite
by Matthew Arnold
Loneliness
by Trumbull Stickney
Mnemosyne
by Trumbull Stickney
Montparnasse
by Ernest Hemingway
Mountain Pines
by Robinson Jeffers
Museum
by Glyn Maxwell
Ode to Solitude
by Alexander Pope
On the Terrace
by Landis Everson
R.I.P., My Love
by Tory Dent
Sex
by Michael Ryan
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Song of Myself
by John Canaday
Song of Quietness
by Robinson Jeffers
Sonnet V
by Mahmoud Darwish
Sympathy
by Edith Franklin Wyatt
The Creation
by James Weldon Johnson
The Daffodils
by William Wordsworth
The Hermit Goes Up Attic
by Maxine Kumin
The Living Beauty
by W. B. Yeats
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T. S. Eliot
The Sleepers
by Walt Whitman
The Suicide
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
the suicide kid
by Charles Bukowski
The Whole World Is Gone
by Jennifer Grotz
This Is a Photograph of Me
by Margaret Atwood
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
Toro
by Sarah Gambito
WHERE?
by Kenneth Patchen
White Days
by Priscilla Becker
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
by Walt Whitman
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan