Monday, February 27, 2006

Searching for missing pieces at the YMCA

The naked girl was at the gym today (shorts that can hardly
be called shorts, now can they?, resting below hip bones. I
think she has a new tattoo) and the boys who stand out front
drinking coffee and smoking on a break from their workout
(I admire those boys. Such stamina!)

and it reminded me that I haven’t seen the old man with dress
shoes and knee-highs for a while (I hope that he’s all right. It’s
strange that we’ll never know). I worry that I haven’t kept you
up to date on these details

that you’ll never hear about the old woman in the shower (she
had the perfect hair. Flowing white and grey) who said I smelled
nice (and, of course, I wasn’t sure of the proper response so I
smiled and held up my bottle of Life Brand body wash), or how
I waited by the pay phones for two hours

trying to look busy (wondering, will this magazine fool anyone?,
flipping past photographs of teenage celebrities on the beach,
skimming articles about high society murders and old Hollywood
love affairs) all the while, watching the door.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Over a Dinner Table

I recite : The hopeless hope of Harry Hope,
trying to extinguish the flame. It flickers.

You press a thumb to my lips, holding my breath.
Try Hamlin or Houdini, instead, you say: we glow.

Friday, February 10, 2006

morning observation #55

My apartment is the Mary
          warm cups of coffee
left unattended          bodies,
having just stepped away
          a mysterious empty
          a haunting persistence.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A simple lesson of physics

                      The pint law of pool states that one
is a moderate player at one pint, exceptional

                      at two and pathetic at three. We did not
make this up. This is a truth alongside

                      the long established bar rules of pool:
you only have to call the eight ball and

                      we’ll forgive a scratch or two, if the shot
makes me laugh and

                      you make me laugh, something hearty, so
there’s a taste of metal in my mouth,

                      made all the better as it’s mid-afternoon
and we’re supposed to be somewhere else but

                      this bar is perfect. All the sunshine is
hidden behind booths and half wall partitions

                      made of flecked particle board, and all the
patrons, all five of them, comment on our game, suggesting

                      a match with the winner, although we all know
the competition is slim. A man at the next table offers

                      lessons math teacher style, leaning over
me, arms on either side so I have to crouch down. When he

                      presses his crotch into my hip I jump up,
knocking the cue ball into the side pocket and scatter the

                      remaining solids and stripes across the table,
the ten and eleven coming to rest side by side, kissing, at one

                      end, about ten inches from the bank, you sip from
your pint, wink at me, and move to take your turn. I stand

                      at the other end, near the ten and eleven, for a
better view as you aim and shoot, full force, hitting

                      your target perfectly, the ten to the left, the eleven
to the right, both landing in corner pockets, one a half second

                      after the other. The few at the bar cheer, even the
wannabe math teacher claps, and you raise your arms

                      shouting ‘It’s a Christmas miracle!’ and I don’t
correct you because I know how you love to misplace holidays, and

                      you wink again, because you know I can’t and you
know that I love it when you do.

morning observation #53

you have yet to notice : the delicate bones
of wrists : scars that mark my bent fingers

permanently coiled : my awkward patience

that this poem is about you