Scent of Roses
at the confluence
An unofficial jewel
whose unofficial jewel
is probably Obsidian Stout,
a local import.
She is so unpretentious
that she seems extremely pretentious,
but she don’t give a fuck what you think
and she’s too kind to tell you
unless you get pushy.
She will bum a square outside a club,
or lend you one if she can spare it,
listening to your dreams,
sharing her own in-kind
before retreating inside
when her song is played and then
her stage name is called as
you slowly realize that
you’re now kindred spirits
with an exotic dancer
erotically peeling away
her layers, down to where
pale, toned, imperfectly
If she ever read this,
she’d laugh and be like,
“Really? Chill, dude.
It’s just stripping.”
Her indomitable spirit flies free,
but she brokers no jackassery or
disrespect of any kind. If you touch
her without permission, security
will escort you out, but after being
kind enough to help find your missing
teeth and stop the bleeding. As a spark-plug,
Portland doesn’t scrape the sky,
but she doesn’t need to;
she gets plenty high enough.
At the peak of her bustle,
she doesn’t impose her will on you,
but if you show an
inkling of interest
she’ll lean into you
with a wink and sneer that asks,
“well what are you waiting for, old age?”
You won’t recall what street you were on,
or what landmarks you saw, or the wonders
of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
or how the roses smelt
(or if you prefer, smelled,
for they won’t check grammar
off the clock).
You won’t remember many
remarkable physical attributes,
though notable ones are celebrated,
eclectic, and prolific,
but you’ll remember how you felt
while you were in her.
You may have winced or
groaned at that last innuendo,
but she would’ve barely been
bothered to shrug before
or matching your lewdness,
depending on the weather.
Oh, and it rains a lot,
which is clearly a
wondrous kind of
Written for Real Toads’ day 14 prompt: The Streets (“Where is your favorite town or city to take a stroll in?”)
Also written for NaPoWriMo’s day 14 prompt: write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.
Obviously, I wasn’t really into the NaPoWriMo prompt, as I didn’t do too much with wordplay. Perhaps I was swayed by Portland’s rebellious, counterculture spirit.