He Just Woke Up
He has gotten out his pipe
and the same pouch of tobacco
he opened last time the change of weather caught him
in this mood. He’s gone philosophical, and tweedy,
and talks about the virtue
of real pens, thinks he may start a journal,
something he could turn to book form someday,
wonders where he put the matches;
and the ash tray, did that go to Goodwill?
Dew on the spider web;
he was standing on the porch this morning, pipe unlit,
and nodding at the neighbor on the corner.
He thinks the worst may be over.
Maybe he’ll start walking again.
plain as a window pane, Jen
sighed at her weight
and tucked a sachet
in the sash at her waist
a coy addition,
a small ornament, but,
like the little wave in her hair
and the absence of guilt
in her mist-pale eyes, frowned on
by her grandparents and straight-laced sects.
On another plane,
a gin-swizzled jinn sighs
over fish. In the marble pool
beside her, gilt-scaled koi sashay
through bending lily stems to spawn.
Such a waste, to be over-sexed here.
A pain to wait for a lover her size,
with armament. To sire a jinn. And wit.
To make her grandparents waive their objections.
We were wild summer girls
and didn’t know it.
Our mothers knew, and tried
to trap us
keep it from us
save us from ourselves.
It was ten years before I learned how wild I was.
But feral boys
began to teach you
when fall came.
On the Beach
I drove the beach at Daytona one Spring.
It was like a carousel,
Sue and I riding the rearing Mustang
around the long circuit:
Atlantic on the left hand, turn,
Atlantic to the right.
Coming back was drier, and chancier.
A Thunderbird drifted into the soft sand. Boys.
We avoided that pitfall,
but recognized the danger of desire.
car in the other lane, passenger:
a big blonde dog, cartoon of goofy pleasure
taking in the universe, at speed. I know.
I walk on cadenced words for hours,
page turning over page, and emerge
without plot or dialog to recall, but
set me in that world and ask me
for a spoon–it’s in your hand.
You’re so vain
Rain, riot, market fall
All the world’s pains