Fable of the Mermaid and the Starbuckers

A satiric riff on Pablo Neruda's poem, "Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks"

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Fable of the Mermaid and the Starbuckers

All these Starbuckers were there inside

When she entered, nude.

She came from the East River,

She lost her way. Eyes came from faraway.

Wended her way between hookers and bucks.

No one noticed. Who was she?

Glided into Starbucks.

Did they see?

Gray faces, gray tables

White spaces, gray fables

Smell of coffee, smell of money

Ringtone tinkled Lovely Rita

Someone seeking Goddess Sita?

Fingers tapped Blueberry

Brains blogged Strawberry

Twitter blogged I-phone

Tarragonswiss gelatocone

Pointy heads cyberspace

MySpace  YourSpace

Beyond time and face

Eyes glazed laptop

Educated—Stop and Shop


Viral infection since July

Did they see?

No one asked

Who was she?

She did not know tears

She did not weep

She did not know dreams

She dared not sleep

She tried, tried to imagine

A pirouette

Did she forget

Did she forget

She did not know words

She did not speak

Eyes were birds

White and meek

Arms were topaz

Lips—coral light

Eyes were birds

Stripped in flight

Silence twined her glistening flesh

Blindness blanked her golden breast

Glided by

Who was she

No one noticed

Did they see

Suddenly, she left by that door.

She entered the river, gleaming

A white stone in the rain

Only hearing her refrain

Without a backward glance

She drew a breath

Swam toward never

Swam toward death

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