Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

[Two Poems]

by Jeffrey Zable

Mr. Losada

was my junior high school Spanish teacher
who put all the pretty girls in the front of the room
and smiled at them, joked with them, and looked
under their dresses, while most of us boys were
in the back of the room and seldom called on,
and by the time the class was over, the only 
words I knew were gracias, de nada, and adios.



And I said to him, listen man,				
Don’t take this wrong, but I just don’t think		
it would be good for me to be seen with you.
I mean, I like you and all, but I just can’t take
the chance, if you know what I mean. I’m trying
to get thirty years in the teaching profession
so I can get that little pension at 60. Without that
I’d be living under a bridge in a cardboard box, 
so for now I just have to stick to the plan.
I know you understand.

But I’m the president of the greatest nation in the world,
he said. How can it possibly reflect negatively on you
to be seen with me!

And that’s when I realized that he just wasn’t listening.

Look man, I said, here’s my number.
If you ever need to talk—just need to talk—
give me a call. In most respects I consider you
a pretty square guy.

And believe it or not that’s when he started crying—
I mean tears like crystals crashing onto the pavement.
And the shaking was uncontrollable.

Come on, I said, you gotta pull yourself together.
Doesn’t your plan provide for free psychotherapy?
I mean, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact
I’ve got a name of somebody really good
if you’re interested.

And with that I patted him on the back—maybe a bit
too hard—and headed down the block. When I reached
the corner and turned in his direction he was already
in the limousine heading back to the White House.


SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

Jeffrey Zable

has been publishing poetry and prose in literary magazines and anthologies for many moons. He’s published five chapbooks including Zable’s Fables, with an introduction by the late great Beat poet Harold Norse. His work appears, or is forthcoming, in Clarion, Toad Suck Review, Mas Tequila, The Alarmist, Skidrow Penthouse, and many others.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury