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

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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.

Continue reading “Spring Picnic”

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

Seven two five

Hello

She thought she was in love
and anyone watching knew
she was in love with falling
the relentless dropping
pull of gravity, from
some other planet, slower
every moment of each time
her eyes stealing his every look
trying to find out his thoughts
he never spoke aloud

Every flower in a vase, every
face full of glowing news
words slipping one after another
from his lips, and she knew
even then they were tawdry, cheaper
than a dime store beaded choker
even while she felt a bigger feel
than she had ever felt before
or after the day he did not show up
with his sudden pang of morals

 

Amber (caution)

She came with a set of luggage
3 pieces and a train-case
a Barbie doll, with
all the accessories

Lovely lady with the trimmings
winter holidays
wrapped up in a bow
for that touch
of ostentatious-ness

Every night (every day)
the sound of an alto sax
followed us down dim streets
my hand in the hollow
of her lower back

Squinting to make out the signs
the words (indistinct)
but then (she said)
I really did not try very hard
to read them

My eyes boring into hers
when she would turn her head
waiting for them to light up
like a cat’s
each time a car drove by

double-edged affair

are we close?
are we tight–
is the big red bow
topping off this affair
so very impressive, do you say–
here in this hideaway
so many rules smeared across the walls
with lipstick

so long as we tell no one
we can carry on, feelings in rusty tins
atop the cupboards
so long as we don’t want more
than status quo, more the the offered

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 owners
of acres of whitewashed fence
because they do not know

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