Poetry by Mitchell Grabois

Land Mines

My editor travels to Lisbon
I tell him to catch some Fado
the mournful blues
sung by women
whose husbands have gone away to sea

Amalia Rodriguez, the queen is dead
but Portugal is full
of beautiful women
singing their hearts out
wearing their dark organs
on their sleeves

My editor wants to go but can’t convince his friends
who see these performances as touristic
and don’t want to pay
for expensive drinks

and for the sultry, scornful singer
in the dark room
to cover them with contempt
like shellac

then to shiver them with notes
like a gravedigger
flinging dirt behind him
dirt that transforms mid-air
into broken razor blades

The streets are filled with land mines
which the singer deftly avoids
as she struts over the cobbles
in her four-inch heels
headed for home
She knows where they are

and she knows
that you don’t


About Mitchell Grabois

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.