The ideal

The ideal breeders shown
in Madison Avenue magazine light:
She wears a rustic-like sweater all grey
and peasanty, though no peasant could possibly afford it,
and tasteful make-up that she certainly doesn’t need
All of them, including both husband and child,
in designer jeans and understated cool rich person’s dress
The husband so handsome, casual with a wisp of stubble
The blondish little boy perfect, about three years old,
with just enough resemblance to them both
All contained within that serious, spurious
Madison Avenue glow— perfect, happy, content
You sacrifice your now to look ahead
Identity is fiction
Go play at it
Her role today is the resentful, haughty bitch
There’s some cop who
can’t be more than 26
With a tight black helmet and a black
automatic rifle—Seriously?
To protect us at 51st and Lex,
from what? From what...
Children fight a bit but forget it
Adults hold grudges
Her skin really is alabaster,
truly white, like porcelain
Her small-formed breasts delight him
You play at being yourself
“Don’t stop, don’t stop
Those hands, those gentle, gentle hands”
When you’re not sure
and the criticisms come
and you’re insecure...
There was a double rainbow
Down by the river you go to dip
your ladle and drink
His self-confidence makes him blunt
Hey, I’m an intensity engine
Seems like I was
for the last four weeks at least
The queasy feeling you get when challenged
and you think you might have missed something
Could I have been wrong, even a little?
I tell you this is exhausting
The genius star would call that eminent choreographer
of elegant ballets and Broadway sass
That celebrated director of smash musicals and plays
“That putz!”
Some don’t understand these carefully wrought fictions
And if they don’t get it soon they may end up on trial
What if I’m found out they think
What about that queasy injustice
An inner river where he dips his ladle
She was distinctive
Her work owed nothing to us
She didn’t relax, couldn’t
not even for a day
That wasn’t how she was raised
She was brought up to be spare,
subtle, quiet and economical
On the telephone in the next office
and a bit too loud:
“Hi mom, hello mom
Can you hear me mom?
How are you?”
Is her mom deaf or just not all there?
“It’s me, mom, all right, mom
I have to go now”
She did say she loved him awhile
People fall in and out of love, she’d say
It happens everyday
Let’s go out to some fancy place
We ain’t nothin, if we ain’t fancy
You want to know more but we can just
glimpse at each other
Some place where the service is posh
The clouds weren’t distinguishable
They were an indistinct grey above us
The wind blew cold, relentlessly
It burns our red, gloveless hands
He wouldn’t go to work in a wheelchair
He wouldn’t go to a museum with us
He wasn’t going to show himself
or think of himself that way
Her spurious love came to him late
And when he was spurned it only marred,
it only hurt, the final third part of his life
How quickly it turned to hate






-December 20, 2014-