COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
CALLER: My mother forgets to feed her animals
COUNSELOR: Is there someone who can feed them for her?
CALLER: because it’s only fair.
COUNSELOR: Fair or not, the animals have to be fed.
CALLER: She rushes to them
COUNSELOR: Oh, good.
CALLER: when / she hears hoarse roosters crowing
COUNSELOR: Don’t they do that at daybreak? How early does she feed her animals? Or forget to?
CALLER: and billy goats butting
COUNSELOR: Are you sure they’re not bluffing? Or gruffing? Is there a bridge?
COUNSELOR: a troll?
CALLER: a last straw.
COUNSELOR: I was only asking.
CALLER: This month the moon becomes a princess.
COUNSELOR: She does! Um… why did you call her the moon? Is that a crack about her butt?
CALLER: The stars fan her,
COUNSELOR: I’m a fan too. I loved her in Suits.
CALLER: Jupiter pours cups of wine,
COUNSELOR: No, that’s Bacchus. Jupiter is in charge of—you don’t think it will rain, do you?
CALLER: Mars sings
COUNSELOR: Shouldn’t that be Apollo?
CALLER: melancholy mawals.
COUNSELOR: Where did they come from? The melancholy narwhals?
CALLER: Bearded men
COUNSELOR: And they just show up, holding narwhals?
CALLER: holding prayer beads
COUNSELOR: That sounds much easier.
CALLER: and yellow booklets
COUNSELOR: See, a book and a string of beads—easy to carry. A book and a narwhal, not so much.
CALLER: stare at her
COUNSELOR: Uh, are they hoping for autographs? At her wedding? That’s the tackiest thing I can imagine.
CALLER: and point aching fingers at her waist.
COUNSELOR: I stand corrected. What is this obsession with women’s waistlines?
Read the rest of “Ramadan” by Khaled Mattawa here.