7.06 / June 2012

Two Poems

Dear Jeny

listen to this poem

I know this is your name because I read it on your embossed name tag.

I’m writing this down because I can’t shout loud enough to tell you over the noisy rattle and bang of the paint mixer and the customer assistance in aisle 12b announcements.

I want to tell you that this place sounds like someone put bricks in a clothes dryer.

I want to tell you that I like how you spell your name with one N, not like all the other Jennys and how I think that makes your name look like a truncated bendy straw and how that’s beautiful.

I want to tell you that your ponytail is by far the finest I’ve ever seen.

I want to say that my Hyundai is parked in the parking lot, in a far off space and we could run to it, your blue vest waving in the wind, and we could drive past the rest of the strip mall and the adjoining towns and over the ring of blue mountains on the horizon, and away from this gray valley.

I want to tell you that, when you smile, I think I love you, even though I only know your name and that you went to high school in the next town over (my sister told me she knows someone who graduated with you…and that I’m weird).

I want to buy you a coffee and ask you about your childhood and find out more about each other, like if our favorite color is the same and what kinds of dogs we like and what we both wanted to be before we were this.


On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 means strongly agree

listen to this poem

In the twilight of the Dress Barn
you are making new slack

from the ribbon of my arms.
You are eating all the food

you can eat from the Old Country,
returning and returning for more

because, dammit, you paid for it.
The clock on the wall above the fountain

is set not for hours, but for days or weeks,
and the artificial skylight lets us know

that it’s overcast and cloud white and warm
and yes,

we’ve got that
and yes,

the softer side
and yes,

have it your way
and yes,

finger lickin’ good
and yes,

when you care enough to send the very best
and, hello,

I’m conducting
a short survey to determine your needs.

If I can have just five minutes of your time
you’ll sleep better tonight

knowing that we’ve made the best
even better for tomorrow.

Randolph Pfaff is a writer, editor, and visual artist. He lives in Boston, where he edits for a magazine called apt and a small press called Aforementioned. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Destroyer, Rufous City Review, Metazen, Thunderclap, and Open Letters Monthly, among others.
7.06 / June 2012