Plastic Afternoon

Tresha Faye Haefner

The afternoon is long as the tail feathers
of Marc Chagall's floating coq.
Coq as in two lovers floating
over a red chicken.
They will last for centuries
in their beautiful cartoon way,
the way the tiger in the painting
on my wall lasts.
The afternoon sunlight in the
oil on his canvas stripes lasts.
The cows lowing in a meadow
outside my window
do not last.

Mr. Potato Head lasts.
I wonder what everyone was thinking
three dozen years ago
when they invented the first
Mr. Potato Head.
The first microwavable potato.
The first picture of a plant.
The first picture of a plastic plant.

The first firework.
Fire. Work. Work fire.
Fire for lack of doing work.

A purple notepad. A purple desk.
A plastic secretary is a porn star.
A porn star is a plastic secretary.
A husband watching is a fired employee.

A leaf is a hand.
A plastic leaf is a plastic hand.
A plastic hand is a hand that lasts.
A hand that lasts is a ghost.
A moon is a large microwavable china dish.
A dish is a frozen moon.
The moon is as far away
as one of Chagall's floating fish.

Tresha Faye Haefner was born in California, and has lived in the state for most of her life. She earned her B.A. degree in Modern Literary Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently makes her home in San Jose, CA, where she teaches English and social studies. Her work appears in Amarillo Bay, BloodLotus, Zygote in My Coffee, The Ante Review and Alien Sloth Sex.