Mary Fitzpatrick
Mary Fitzpatrick’s poems have been finalists for the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and the Slapering Hol Chapbook Award; have been featured in Mississippi Review, Atlanta Review and North American Review as contest finalists; and have also been published or are forthcoming in such journals as Agenda (UK), Hunger Mountain, Miramar, The Paterson Review, and in anthologies such as Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles & Beyond and Cancer Poetry Project 2. Her corporate career included translating electric-energy innovations into human prose. In her non-profit career, she boosted the fortunes of a small Catholic elementary school. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz with an MFA from UMass Amherst, she is a fourth-generation Angeleno who feels at home in Ireland.

One Face May Hide Another
after Kenneth Koch
I wait at least a moment
and see what is already there
as at a crossing
when one brindle bulldog
may hide another
while evening cools the air
and though one can scarcely believe
in a creature so preposterous,
yet when the light changes
there is another that appears
when their leashes split
from a single hand, and if I wait
I’ll surely see the other holding
a cell phone, for no walker
is disengaged, as at a stoplight
when one looks left to see
what one expects, the next
driver with a cell phone, but sees
instead a brindle bulldog
on the driver’s lap, a second
bulldog in the back, the driver
searching for her cell phone. Now looking up
one scouts around to see
if the streets aren’t full of brindle bulldogs
but finds instead they’re full
of people dressed in slim black pants
who haunt the sidewalks, step
in and out of cars. Some
have cell phones, some
red hair. One recedes
in her red sandals, the undersides
wink at me with each step: red,
white sole, red – then one’s
a red dot on a parrot’s cheek
and another parrot shrieks
as they hurtle, gadflies, tree to tree
and I look at least a moment, see
red flowers in the flame trees
which then take flight as parrots’ cheeks
receding with each flap, dodging
people on the streets
dressed in slim black pants. And one
is your friend, one is mine, and one
holds a cell phone or two
leashes in one hand. And though
I thought I saw you once before
it was instead
someone who resembled you and paused
and stroked her chin just to consider
if I was her cousin or her cousin’s friend
or simply looked like her –-
then drove away
with brindle bulldogs.  

 2018 Mary Fitzpatrick
Mary Fitzpatrick was a Featured Poet at the December 2018 Second Sunday Poetry Series