Issue 28: James Dufficy

The Box

We had angelic hosts

Above our heads at Christmas

But most of the year

Just a flock of seagulls.

And then, without so much

As a ‘Bye Bye Love’

We were released from captivity

And returned to our captors.

People cried out

What about Uhura?

What happened to Sulu?

What have you done with Chekov?

Even at its most reserved

The ocean still owned the room.


As your face neared

It changed in the dark.

First like Matthew

Then Mark.

A little like Luke

And then, touching, you.

It was like a little death.

Tiny, in fact.

Yet hard enough.

For if the Devil drives

And needs must

Beggars can.

The Monarch

Napkins over our heads

Chin up, chest out

We stood to attention

For a large Monarch.

A small part of our hearts

Up our sleeves.

Then, in formation

For the little goldfinch.

Shoulders back, stomach in

The remains of love

Covering our cages

Held in reserve. 

The Path

Not quite a nocturne

Not just yet. But still—

The first sundowner

Had already gone done

And helicopter and aeroplane

Could not be reconciled.

Could they?

How would we know?

The Curse

The wedding sheets

Were strewn with bite-size

Shredded Wheat

But Major Loesser

Remained adamantine

In the name of Sts. Ursula and Gaston

In his plot to destroy Disney.

Narrow lapels

Unfashionable wide

The curse ends there

Or goes on and on

In Parallel Time

For his daughters’ daughters’

Daughters …

James Dufficy is an Irish/American citizen living in London. He works as a medical editor for the Mac Keith Press. His poems have appeared in Ambit, Blackbox Manifold, and the Gay and Lesbian Review.

Copyright © 2022 by James Dufficy, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.