Issue 169, Spring 2004
We open on a mystery,
a riddle has happened, will happen, will happen again.
What’s the point of experience
if we can’t use it?
The scene is New York City, often
turning to look back.
Off set, we learn lines—
Me: friendly and everyday
as a white peach;
You: all that I am not,
too beautiful, too young, too glad;
My Mom: never bakes, never does laundry,
she is 5’8” and 58;
Our Director: fatherly, 65, with thumbs
Like a snake a camera lies in wait.
In this scene, our Director explains, we see
you together for the first time, it is a crowded bar.
I always look directly into your eyes,
You look primitive, transgressing.
Like an actor in a Hitchcock film
your eyes reveal
what your words do not.
Your eyes glaze—
a December pond we’d come across when twelve years old
in Connecticut for a pickup hockey game—
no wonder they are the color of blue ice.
The scene includes a phone, suggests
distance, you ready?
A brown head nods. Our Director
smiles, hands somersault air.
What are you up to tonight?
In Connecticut, my mom lies,
as chemicals travel her veins
a tiny train chuffing her off—
it feels like hell, if it works
cheeks sallow, hair fallen,
her body autumnal.
A floppy Royal blue hat receives her head.
When I NEED,
I get NOTHING,
I learn resolve instead.
No definite plans. You want to grab a drink ?
How about this weekend? I’m off to a party tonight.
A New York street corner, a kiss.
YOU: You’re intense.
ME: I'm a poet.
YOU: Wouldn’t you sell more
if you wrote fiction?