My Two Loves

Light up on Josephine,
the spot from the catwalk frames her
tiara to thigh, walks her stage-right
to center, while below, the ‘Go’
over headset and I drift
the staircase forward, Josephine’s heels
clopping above, when she belts
“J’ai Deux Amours”
the third time, I bend and loop
the rope into place, the mini Eiffel Tower
rises, twinkles star-drop light, and I peer
through a slat in the stair to onstage sequins
bowing, feathers fall, high leg kick left,
the maestro sweats, the ushers
linger by amber curtains, amber carpet, amber
orchestra, balconies and aisles of faces
to whom I don’t exist and this is Paris



The Antelope Play

You know it from the dream
From the relatives and novels you dreamt before
The whispers now chanting, told you till the soil
Enough days and America would hand you
A new coat, pair of shoes, pretty eyes
Would not wander, your house would sprout rooms,
They’d point cameras at you, and you waited
By the window, still wearing
That shirt, and someone’s to blame
The mouths up late chewing
Stockrooms of dreams of tickets to scratch
With a camera to capture the path of the sky
It’s loading, but at least you find the service forgiving
Enough to watch people who think like you
Sing on video, stop me
If you’ve heard this one before
Where the sky is not cloudy





Patrick Gaughan’s poems and writings have been featured in BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, MOMA, PEN America, Coldfront, Blunderbuss, The Atlas Review, and others. He works for jubilat, and with Avram Kline, he curates PeopleHerd's Readings at Milk&Roses.