A large woman in a red suit ~ face veiled behind a black lace mantilla raises her hand like a fan
Crushed blue velvet neck scarfs wrap around her throat arc upon arc
Her palms come together overhead in a quite pronounced clap
Fingers undulate like a huge HAPPY clam proudly flaunting its’ pearl

This international blue-eyed crowd tries to pretend she’s not a first row cultured pearl
Her presence too expressive they fold eyes down pretending not to see her
Rosary beads adorn her large breasts and fall intrusively into her hard to avoid cleavage
Brush strokes of a watery teal blue hue shimmer over her mantilla creating an azure halo
Hallowed glimpses of crone braids peek through as if blessed by the hand of her Mama’s touch

This is a historic poetry party in the basement of the San Francisco library
Ferlinghetti recites What is Poetry? from his Collection Poetry As Insurgent Art

Auntie Mame wears an aire of privilege as she sits in Ferlinghetti’s first row aura
It’s as if she is playing the role of his shill and he likes it that way
I wish she knew I’m pretending she’s my Auntie
I wish I could run up to her tell her how much I love her outfit 

I notice as she walks away the room feels empty 

Poetry is the truth that reveals all lies, the face without mascara
Ferlinghetti’s words resound as Auntie Mame takes her costumed comfort with her
Missing her I hang onto the words spoken by our Poet Laureate
I try to catch the lightning like fireflies in a jar filled with holes holy holes

It’s summer in San Francisco
It’s foggy hard to see flying fireflies . . .

Come back Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Auntie Mame come back . . .
Like a breast, a poem is more beautiful if it is veiled in mystery  

Renowned poet and charming costumed lady your dual presences hum
like moths as they circle the light