Jack Galmitz

The Ladies Room
per seriem

found another
that was the end
of her

an arm
in passage
as they cross
the threshold

a full-length mirror
the girl inspects the hairs
around her vulva

a full-length mirror
the girl wonders
why her breasts
elicit wonder

women forging swords
their faces bright in the fire
the backyard woods

the lives of women
separate from men
the cd set

the lives of women
without men
inserting themselves

she left the door
slightly ajar
that’s how we are

great minds think alike

for Mac Hammond

In the oven
the turkey looks almost
human and I 
point this out
to my wife
who nervously laughs
and quickly points
out the differences.

We're having guests
for dinner and it's
a holiday meant 
for a repast. There is
no time for regrets
for what's already

So, I keep my eye
on the "bird" through 
the tinted glass
and every 20
minutes or so
baste it in 
its own fat
and watch it
get brown 
and crisp.

But, I can't
get the image
of that homunculus
out of my head —
trussed, its head
cut off, with skin
like mine only
with goose bumps
down its length.
An innocent.

Kharkiv Still in Winter

When the war started
the bombings ripped down
the residential buildings
and one took Anatoliy's left
arm and a finger from 
the other. He's adapting.

Roman is the Chief 
of the Fire Department
and moved his wife
and daughter to the firehouse
for safety-keeping. One of his comrades
was killed by strafing as they
rode back from fighting
a fire.

They honored his falling; the brethren
marched in a line slowly,
each holding a red flower,
and placed it in the open coffin,
while the wife was held up
by both arms so she didn't
collapse into the building

Vitali, 86, was once a theater actor.
In the Heroes of Labor
Metro Station, he strums
a battered guitar and sings
of those who lost their 
streets and yearn for home,
here in the city that was once
the center of culture. 
A woman with a child
tells him to keep it down;
her child finally slumbers.

My Youthful Walking Tour of Spain

For Arthur Waley

I sat for days on a bench,
outside a Lost and Found Precinct
in Madrid, watching a three-legged
dog chase its tail in dirt so dry
it could no longer drink.
I lost my return flight
ticket to New York
in a cab and hoped the driver
would do the right thing
and drop the ticket off here.

Jack Galmitz has been writing most of his life. For the past decade, he has had much of his work published in Otoliths. It has been his honor. He has gotten to know the work of many of the regular contributors and this has been educational and pleasurable.
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