Some baleful thoughts

When the weather isn’t too severe
and the night isn’t enough night
and a black bird swerves by my left ear
as though to say “Get out of here, god damn it,
this is my family place”
and the damn little thing alights near my head
squawks and follows me until I turn to meanly stare
at the little shit as if to say “Oh really,
you fucking little bitch, really...”
If that old thin woman with her chicken beaked face
who sits next to me on the subway, badly rouged,
takes another demure little drink from that
god damned water bottle of hers,
will I take it and stuff it down her little chicken throat?
Tempting me is she?
Like an ex-lover on her morning run
who can’t help but look at me over her shoulder backwards
body propelled awkwardly forward
We’re afraid and that’s why we cling
to love that isn’t love
to a god that isn’t god—to fear
I’d love to fall in love again, that joy, that thrill
I’m still robust and affectionate enough
but I doubt that’s in me now
This is a conversation we should never have had
Slaves to lives we didn’t choose
in communities we hate
Everything points to your being right
I’ll never return there
The evidence says you’re right
and yet, though I don’t pretend to prophecy,
I know I’ll return there again because I see it...
I have a physical sense of his loss, she says, even now
set off by the most ordinary things
His toothbrush, those old cufflinks,
that black eye patch, that old cane, anything...


-June 17, 2012-