Boston Review

Matelot Turnstile




I have been instilled to find certain
paramours unkind as all piano bars
can be. Synthetics always seem the style
with finely bound waists, like books
piled on tables in the lobby of society
lectures. You are forever a committee member.

Matelot, matelot, where you go my thoughts go with you

The token & the turnstile. First access
then swoon of a dream that abides
in seaside closets of mildew & blue
soaps, through attic heat in search
of vases, crates of canvas & water
colors. I am simply an arranger of flowers.

We burn of gin & horseradish, end-
full nights at the Anchor & Crown
where virtue is a beguine of cocktails
& laughter, but what of the after
painted town? Tomorrow, again, hatted &
measured. The world is weary of our leisure.

Matelot, matelot, when you go down to the sea

Gets, takes off, is, puts on, fills.
Boils, is set, then served, pours out.
Takes, is spoiled, dosses down,

forgets. I will wear the new finery if weather permits.   


—Margaret Funkhouser

Margaret Funkhouser, 2002–2003 Fellow in the Writing Program at Washington University, has poems forthcoming in Delmar and Paris Review.



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