over a city
slips out of cloudy brassiere
shamelessly. It’s hot.
TONY: Wow. This poem’s as hot as I feel!
TATI: Really? Kewl…
(Tati sniffles. Her nose is very runny and red.)
TATI: Ahhh… ahhh… AH CHOO!
(Tony wipes himself off.)
TONY: Lovely. All. Over. Me. Thanks for that.
TATI: You’re welcome, Tony.
TONY: Could you maybe sneeze upwind in future? Anyway, let’s discuss this poem of yours. It’s called ‘Sunhibitionism’.
TATI: Yea… AH CHOO!
(Tony wipes himself off again.)
TATI: Sorry. That was upwind this time.
TONY: Good freakin’ god. It’s like sitting next to a sprinkler.
(Tati gives Tony a helmet.)
TATI: Will you ask me after all?
TONY: About the poem?
(He puts the helmet on.)
TONY: If I can just get a word in with all this projectile snot flyin’ about then yes, I will ask after all.
TONY: What made you think of equating weather patterns with the imagery of a woman bending over?
TATI: It was a cloud. Its shape reminded me of a bra… ah CHOO!
TONY: Thank the very Christ for this helmet.
(Tony wipes his visor off.)
TONY: So, do clouds often make you think of women’s undergarments, Tati? Are you some kind of pervert?
TATI: What? Of course no! If a cloud looks like a teddy bear, will you accuse me of liking bestiality too?
TONY: Well, I don’t know what kinkiness goes on inside your head.
TATI: Tony, are we discussing the poem here, or are you trying to fish out my hidden desires?
TONY: Oh, so you do it with fish now? What a sicko…
TATI: Are you going to discuss poetry after all, you freaking pervert? What about my use of imagery, metaphor, and meter? AHHH… CHOO!
(Tony wipes his visor off.)
TONY: You’re sneezing on me on purpose now, aren’t you…
(He takes off his shirt and wrings it dry. Tati sniffles.)
TATI: Dear Readers, because Tony is being extremely objectionable today, let me take up the reins.
TONY: Says the woman who sprays everything with mucous.
TATI: It’s a shadorma.
TONY: Is that what they’re calling it these days?
TATI: What’s that?
TONY: Snot. Shadorma. Must I spell this out?
TATI: Oh, hell. No! It’s a poetic form. Not what your sore fantasy suggests. And if you dare to call yourself a poet, you had better learn some theory!
TONY: Theory? Damn. Then I guess I’m no poet after all. I hardly know any theory when it comes to writing my poems.
TATI: AH CHOO! By the way… do you know? Whenever you say something and someone else sneezes at the same time, it means you are telling the truth.
TONY: I guess it’s confirmed then. I’m a hack.
TATI: Oh. Don’t you want to say, “Bless you?”
TONY: You’re like a cat, Tati. You always manage to land on your feet no matter how far you fall. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a blessing!
TONY: Are you sneezing again?
TATI: No, it’s a broad hint.
TONY: To talk about the actual poem, yes?
TATI: Hallelui… ah… ah… AH CHOO!
TONY: Good grief. Okay, so if the sun is like a nipple, is that why we’re often dissuaded from looking at it? It’s too rude, so we might go blind if we do?
TATI: Of course. It’s so mushy little boys like you, Bubby Tony, can continue to play with their toy soldiers… and don’t hide another issue of Playboy under your pillows.
TONY: Are you saying I’m too immature to appreciate your poem?
TATI: Yes, I think so. You’re focused on details and don’t see the whole picture. It’s like you giggle at the nakedness of Venus de Milo, or David. Or poke your finger at Madonna Litta. Ahhh… ahhh… AH CHOO!
TONY: So, is this a commentary on society’s collective shame regarding sexuality? Is that what you’re referring to here? And since when did you begin comparing your poems with the works of such masters? Not that I’m saying your poems aren’t worthy of scrutiny…
TATI: Oh my god! Really?! Was I able to drag you back to the main point of our discussion?
TONY: Hey, I’m perfectly capable of have an intelligent conversation y’know!
TATI: Says the man with a helmet on his head, and sprinkled all over with mucous shadorma!
TONY: Excuse me all to hell then! I’m off to have a much needed shower…