Fascism, Communism, Capitalism, carrots
The small sign in the doorway breathes smoke
or maybe mist. Either way, it invites us in
to the Szimpla ruin bar in Budapest,
in to a building Hitler bombed
and Stalin did not repair.
Magyar students and yuppies
drink beneath the roofless sky,
flirt along the shattered walls.
Tourists are welcome.
A woman drifts among the tables
hawking carrots to couples for a buck apiece.
She says they make more sense than roses.
She sold 15 kilos last night.
After dread comes defiance, then irony, then nostalgia.
I tender you a small, expensive carrot.
Bob Perkins is an old man who lives in the LA beach town where he grew up. He has been a paperboy, a submariner, a lawyer and a teacher, but now he hangs out with his wife and kids and reads and writes with the Manhattan Beach Senior Poetry Circle. His poems have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Lummox 3, and elsewhere.