Poem about Mangoes—Poem about Drums—
           Poem about the Wall and Daniel’s Shadow

For an instant, a recoiling
against the light gray on the apartment’s wall,
lighter than I would have thought
lying there watching a Western,
wrapped in a blanket beneath the couch’s
lip, beneath a loosely balled
fist hanging down from the shadows.

Let me tell you about the night. I tripped
again, with a few friends, at a college
apartment. Our eyes stayed wide
as if we were Byzantine representations
of something more than ourselves,
and our surroundings that way too—
and mangoes.

Let me tell you about walking,
about Stephen
shirtless and sturdy, cylindrical,
almost, like the African drum he carried
on his back; and about the two drunk
strangers who asked us for directions
in the lazy glow of a gas station,
and who then followed us out to an empty
field, the parade-grounds,
to ask us about stealing our money,
I thought, for a moment,
but actually for clarification,
which seemed so significant to me then,
like mangoes
or not letting the potatoes win
or how Shakespeare is really the writing
of generations or how we climbed that tree,
“vicariously,” at least—we got to climb that tree
to feel as though we’ve lived.

There it is. Let me tell you about our drugs
and insignificance
and how we escaped to less than ourselves
again, from “the self who could do more,”
to feel we’ve really lived—

and about mangoes.

Erick Piller attends Loyola University New Orleans. He has published poetry in Lowe's Prose and Poetics, In Other Words: An American Poetry Anthology (2007), Illogical Muse, and Loyola's ReVisions, and essays at PerceptionEngine.com and in the Reader's Response, Loyola's academic journal. In 2006 he won first place in a Louisiana Scholastic Press Association writing competition for journalism and, in 2007, a Dawson Gailliard Award for Screenwriting. (ejpiller@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761