February 19
by Maria Boling

I belong to a village where dogs sleep in the street.
Stage hard times parties and haunt bars that never close,
Snooze in a hammock; discuss passion with pale tourists,
Dream in color and count unseen railroad cars that clickety clack in the night.

I have fun, romance, adventure—in any order I please.
After sunset, I lift a goblet of amber liquid and toast a tropical moon.
I ride a bicycle down a ribbon-skinny road and wear tacky tee shirts,
Exhale in crimson and orange and fashion my skill in a blue-painted cottage.

I buy pencils by the gross and yellow pads by the dozen,
List my profession as writer and my diversion as barfly.
I guard cats that nap in the sun while I take catnaps in the shade.
I hunt for sea riches in potholed reefs and search the horizon for Moby Dick.

I live a Mardi Gras life far from the cold night air.
I shield this mellow life by hiding out on a dusty island.
Pass as a beach bum and drink warmed over coffee from second hand cups.
With earnest words, I lead story lovers into my forever-holiday, Hemingway life.