Oh, those street signs
and the buses and the crossings
and the whir of a car
pacing down the road
Three leaps or four
on each slab,
on the concrete,
at no one
and for nothing,
except for you to laugh
at something crazy I just said.
Something crazy that I believed in
or believed – at least –
should be said
by somebody like me –
She asked if she
should bring back a straw
for you, as she went out.
I think – at that moment,
I would have gotten you a hundred straws,
the very best from a thousand places –
only to decide they best be kept to myself,
or better yet, left for others to give.
I was sure to keep my eyes
engaged in the study of
some part of the far wall and floor
that was, before then, unstudied by
trained eyes like mine, I’m sure.
And that just to have my eyes evade yours, a legitimate first.
I didn’t want to contemplate straws.
Anything, oh, anything else, I’d rather have pondered –
like eyewear, or books,
or lunches, or movies, or cold brick roads at night,
or mix-tapes on compact discs,
but not straws.
Anything, oh anything else,
but that compromising red-letter wrapped straw.
I would sit with you
and have you tell me the tale
about how the nice old Angela Lansbury
was actually the real killer
on Murder She Wrote
and probably many other things –
like how you once observed that a bunch of women
gathering and talking about vaginas
could only be political
or a gynecologist convention.
But that’s just what we said
back when we danced around
and never really landed.
You say I’m cynical
or maybe just a bit
It’s not easy – you know,
and being sentimental.
Street Puddles And Late Night Walks
Will we show more flesh
or paint our face –
with foundation, shadow
blush and liner,
blending, smearing, caking, fussing –
and wear less than before –
with high riders, low cuts, no sleeves
no strap, and hip huggers with flip-flops,
pre-cut jean holes and tube tops –
yet still pay more?
Will we caress a glass –
cold, bubbling, amber glow
two dollar Coronas, Miller Lite on tap
Long Island specials, no-cover –
and tip it until we feel less –
credit cards swiped, and
money machine in the back,
And stumble and shake –
over curbs, and sidewalk slabs,
or stools and chairs
holler loud, and bother –
on the dark street,
or smoky bar
anyone passing by and alive –
and laugh later about
the good times?
And will we continue
through the silence of missed glances –
eyes evading and blinking,
and never implicating –
words never crossing,
missing our intentions
with empty inflection
saying enough to say nothing at all –
and finger tips never meeting
no simple touch or caress,
or palm-writing –
you move here,
and I move there
your scent trailing –
but never sharing
any dark lit moment,
or bright epiphany
or anything little,
anything at all?
Not My Song
The silver-screen moving pictures don’t help my coping
and the radio hits and bootlegs just don’t satisfy.
Because no matter how high I turn up the volume
the song won’t get through to you.
I find my up and down
and I move along
but the tune’s still not my song.
And that’s the really the hard thing
about long distance group therapy –
when it’s led by Axl Rose
and John Cusack.
My heart beat out of my chest,
that feeling that takes over from feet to nose.
And it skipped in that moment
when I knew that feeling wasn’t for me.
But I caught a glimpse of those rays
and the world runs too slow now.
“If anything can reunite you with anything you’ve ever lost, it’s this.”