Jeanne Marie Beaumont

Third Shoe

Can nothing be done about the air?
A man asks, pretending to unnoose his tie.
I edit the sentence down to seven words.
I think he could lose the sportcoat.

If it weren’t so sunny in this room
we’d worry about the economy.
The spiritual is all that’s left of God,
a friend says, a wave of hand to—out there?

Do we need to speak of the atmosphere
or as the redundant pundit put it,
the environment around us. No one’s done
the research that could make the gesture

convincing. Some pathogens are airborne.
Do birds care? Do bees? (those endurable lovers)
You don’t see it holding them up.
To begin over: Everyone who buys

two pairs of shoes gets a free balloon
and the offer is good until Saturday. That’s fair.
Spell out all units of measure except time.
Do you, sir, find it too warm in here?

Some days you can’t save others even from
themselves. Persons die of not from diseases.
Some poems end up in the air.
Like wingtips? Like prayer?