Three Poems by Jota Boombaba

   Rue de Tessier
				—Paris, 1980

When I first sky her, I’m all eyes
  a hovering hawk, hedonistic high
    itchy skin aflame, wings open wide

I welcome her, unsuspecting mouse
  I’m in, I’m out; around, about
    our image on the mirror clouds

Soon, my hunger flies away, my bloodied beak
  I look to my wrist for a reason to leave
    desire now an empty cup of tea

Parisian Park
			    —April 1980 

Alone in a city of choices
  culture, croissants, corner cafes
    two thousand years of touristry

Still, no baguette can satisfy
  if I cannot just sit and feed  
    quiet on this weathered wooden bench

One small bite soon invites another
  all become familiar, all the same
    each contains its craving itch for more

A finch alights on the edge of my bench
  cocks her hooded head, blinks an eye
    feathers ruffle up her throat—she goes

I’m mired by these daily hikes to night
  my search for food, my thirsty mood
    send the oceans, wash me home to sea

Still in Paris
                      —May 1980 

Ducklings on the river Seine
  small beaks safe behind a drake
     and me—no one to follow

Along the bustled Champs-Élysées
  people bump and humble me
    makes no difference where I go

My father must be home across the globe
  painting or pounding inside the garage 
    pruning his backyard garden

I could pluck a pistol from my pants 
  taste its barrel, suck its bitter rind
    no one home would ever know

I pause my hunger, shut my eyes
  poked and nudged, ignored
    a stone in the bed of a river

Jota Boombaba, when not on the road, writes in and around San Francisco, where he lives and kicks back with his son. Catch him most days at