Passion and politics

Raindrops are lost to clods of dirt
stirred by your footfall
you–so much taller than I
I thought they were your tears
falling over my head

I wish you had been sober
when you said you wanted me
I wish you had been kinder
when you got sober

You voted badly–I know it
you hammered me with your politics
you didn’t know shit
about foreign policy

You still could have stayed–
you could untie my knots
and did not tell me, while
I was trying to get at your heart

You said you hated the Beatles
but I still would have stayed
when you smashed my vintage ABBA record–
I walked out and you panicked

I miss you staring into my eyes
til I had to look down
I miss staring at your lap
til you blushed

It is raining again
the clods of dirt
stirred up by your footfall
I still listen for

grievances

self-pity
forgive me
isn’t pretty
crying with ruby-
throated sparrows
roof-top
when he did not
see me
he’s a
one-strike-
you’re-out man

all my words
any accolades
mere dust
when I see his
eyes go blank
knowing he
does not hear me
(desperately braiding
a tether to reach)

I was not her
I don’t have
delicate hands
(they have fought,
caressed,
held up babies
and made love
like a warrior)
my hands are not small

through another window
someone moans
complains
my mind still wedged
in fascination
(her voice
fading
to a hum)
smiling
as fairies come

Spring Picnic

They sat together and talked while the clouds couldn’t decide whether to be dark or white, changing and dancing in their indecision of midday. She would say, ‘I think it will rain,’ and look for her umbrella in the bag though she knew damn well she did not pack it. He would lean back and watch her shoulders move with her emotions, straight and soldier’d when content, shaking, when she laughed at his jokes,  then later, sagging under the knowledge of what was taking place. The day was heavy for her, but not to him, because she had not told him in advance. It was a picnic. It was sandwiches cut into rooftops with potato chips and red grapes in zip-lock baggies. It was a checkered tablecloth on the grass, still damp with May when one leaned with an elbow, feeling the earth depress.

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Asunder

I have left you
I broke up with
your tv-dinner conversations
and your come-hither tennis matches
all our past
is in the future
unreachable

every egg-roll fortune
now on billboards
in Times Square
your tenth-grade philosophy
on music and self regard
has bored me
I fall down limp

your lust for hand puppets
and walks
through burned-out factories
leave me hungry and wanting
my own desire
heightened
for Andy Warhol soup

Kentucky fried
extra crispy around my lips
you on the line
spouting off something
about being sorry
I hang up
and bite into a thigh

the (our) last time

 

I thought you were there
then could not find you
twisting around to reach for you
(suddenly) feeling very alone
in cool-accusing winds from the lake

your hands nearly frozen
from all the dips in the sea
that great ocean of deceit but
(I blame me) for staying for being
so addicted to (us and) you and me

I looked behind me and beside me
(reading and re-reading your mail)
with the single intent of smearing
my lipstick over all your body
until they drove you to the ER

when I finally find you
they will be so sure
that you are bleeding
and you are-you know
bleeding (me)
you are bleeding me

double-edged affair

are we close?
are we tight-
is the big red bow
topping off this affair
so very impressive, do you say-

isn’t it grand to walk hand in hand
around Battery Park
to hold your head and hair for you
when the ferry makes you sick
isn’t it something out of this world
to know what I am thinking and
to finish your sentences- ain’t it great

how this double-edged sword nicks us
each time we rub elbows
but we never feel it
having the nerve to be surprised
when blood rolls down our hands
give me another word for how
two hearts feel they beat as one
a snare drum heading up a parade down main street
that they all can see and hear

don’t they talk, don’t they wish us well
already seeing our future
as parents and owner
of acres of whitewashed fence
isn’t it grand
leaning and knowing
it is safe to sleep away the hours
the night turning into daybreak
a thief of all our good sense

in a pile on the sofa
your whiskers against my forehead
Bogey passing the hours
on a continuous loop on the screen
his voice echoing in the high ceiling of your loft
saying “I lived a few weeks while you loved me”
and all the while we eat up time
and no one tells us it will not last

a secret code in the club
we don’t talk about intimacy-
we only talk about puppy love
the stuff that daydreams are made of
and no one tells you
that they see the end coming
except afterward
when you cry in your beer