Late, One Night

Walking out of the supermarket, into the rain, I pass you and your son, you have a son now, too. We don’t speak. When you and I spent the night, your daughter was on the way, and you were worried, so worried. That your wife would find out. It started with a conversation, funny how words begin an event which turns into words of greater importance, events of greater magnitude, until whole worlds collapse. The next morning, we ate breakfast with my best friend and the whole time he didn’t know, I thought about your kiss, your body next to mine in bed, like two kids, if we were innocent, but, we weren’t, anymore. I don’t remember what you ordered, it’s irrelevant, but dread hung over our plates, stuck to our silverware, wrapped around our throats and fingers, the skin laid bare the night before. Even naming you in this poem would be an affair, a misuse of a relationship, thieving and shaking all I could from the cup of you, so that the last drop spreads over my tongue, bittersweet.

I Have a Blind Date with Life

a response to Seeger

I have a blind date with Life
at some chic restaurant,
once Winter abandons me with a flurry of his hair
and the air smells like cherries;
I have a blind date with Life
once Winter forgets the days are gray and bare.

No doubt, Life will release my hand
and beg me to follow down a well-lit road
and open my eyes and smell the…What is it?
I’ll know him when I see him.
I have a blind date with Life
at the grandest opera house of them all,
once Winter finally leaves tonight
and I can see all the stars, all of them.

The devil doesn’t know if it’s better to be shallow,
naked in bedsheets and not alone,
where love wanders, tosses, drifts,
breathless, heart tripping, skipping,
and a loud BANG makes me start…
But I’ve got a blind date with Life
around noon, in this metropolis,
once Winter hurries south,
and I break my vow again—
next time, I’ll meet him, next time.

When a Man Leaves a Man

a response to Lehman

After he says blush he means bruise.
After he says simple he means sample.
Or after he says, “I love you,”
he means, “Get out faggot,”
or “I need you, but won’t admit it.”

You’re supposed to remember that.

When a man leaves a man he is eating dinner and he is fasting
and he is in prayer, listening, and he is in the john, agonizing,
and he is taking off his underwear and glasses in the winter and he is wishing on Orion’s belt
and he is skipping a rock in the river and he is wandering
over the ice of a pond
where the tree branches won’t quite reach
and he gets to the middle and there’s a crack.

When a man leaves a man there is no more
time he is fitful he is listening to Sinead O’ Connor and hungry
wanting water
and seven seconds go by before he falls asleep, head propped
over his cold hands all night.

When he says some day he means now.
When he says, “What do you want,”
he listens. His father comes over and says,
“When are you going to die?”

When a man leaves a man, he has gone
fully clothed to shower at the gym
on a drizzly February evening
with the sound of toilets flushing
and everything’s alien inside him.

Dandelion seeds cling to his shirt.

After he says, “You’re always the same,”
“I’ve never thought of it like that,” he says,
rootbeer on his lips.
It’s all noise.
“I don’t have sex with strangers,” he says,
“But I might change my mind again.”

When a man leaves a man, he detests meeting him at home on the couch with a blanket.
When a man leaves a man he’s no longer there. He praises him for being on time
and the refrigerator’s stocked.

When a man leaves a man, he snores.
He’s like an old man laughing
in the morning because he wants the night to begin.