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One fine day

With our instinctual indifference
to familiar non-predators we gather
together at the waterhole and seek
kisses given for love or commerce
Mary has a quality innate in some
women, a seductive power
not completely in her control

One fine day stretches
before me, somewhat grey
with a slight rain and I see
a surprising intensity of color
in our earthly flowers within
this lesser light—how bright
they look to me today

There are levels of intensity—
Jake plays practical jokes, makes
cutting remarks (like the sight of two
rotund colleagues that he dubbed “before
and way before”) to make you seem
ridiculous and yet he’s aggrieved and
indignant when the same is done to him

They say he moved to Maui, detoxed,
and became an avocado farmer
Mary suggests that she’ll grant us
her favors and maybe she will
If you want forgiveness find a priest
or rabbi ‘cause I’m not
someone who easily forgives

Powerful drink and drugs—they’ve
hurt so many people I know—
they numb their souls
So many of our interactions
seem needlessly insincere
It’s not that we deflate—it’s that
the universe expands without us

What’s happened to the mystery
woman, the one with the symbol
of pi tattooed to her shoulder?
She’s so beautiful you ache
to see her like some restless
unknowable force at a point where
your thoughts become stylish

Old Bill S at my first job,
one of the owners, walked past
my desk and asked for some
paperclips, so I gave him a few
He said “Thanks, dad” and like
a performance artist or mime
grabbed himself a fistful

He said “I’m proud of you, son”
when he heard I got into law school
Everything I want, though much,
isn’t everything like that
slow spoken old man’s voice
heard in a TV ad shot in black and
white while a man in his thirties

sits at the kitchen table, head in hands
as his wife holds a screaming baby
“Bills got you down?
Drive a tractor-trailer”
Then we cut to a smiling man,
his happy family shot in color
“This man does, call us today”

I dreamt that my dad was still alive
and that he and I had plans for the
evening, because we found hard to get
tickets to see the great soprano, Miuelletta,
recreate her signature role as the
tragic heroine in “La Sonamble Noblita”
a work that, like her, doesn’t exist

 

 

-September 16, 2017-