Brooklyn Seduction

Began with Stella, and then
Led on

Belgian beers,
Colombian food
Scattered conversation
To an off-chance
“come home with me?”
Shrugged off

Brooklyn again
To a game of secrets,
To a brownie,
Smooshed in between fingers
Licked clean.

Surprising tree-lined streets,
Streets busy, dark, still,
To a stone bench
In front of strangers-
They watched intently.

He turned to me,
With a question
But I to a black sedan,
“To another!”
To a bottle of Proseco
Off-speed dancing,

My eyes shining
Like Brooklyn’s reputation,
The borough asking
Again, again, Come home with me?

the art of waving goodbye

he looked at her like she was the most beautiful
woman, spotlighted inspiration,
but when she caught him
he looked away fast, averting,

it was then
she pressed her hand
forcefully through air
long fingers straining for
that fine art of
waving goodbye,
pressed her hand
and let it stain the air
strain the silence of an unspoken
that always ended so
abruptly… suddenly…

sunset while house-sitting

watch how the light slants
across the garden and lights red
the empty old vines
across the yard from the back
farm woods fields, the mysterious “back”
and notice,
the jungle gym no longer has swings…
when were they taken down?
years ago.
lifetimes ago.
feel the light grow brighter, hot
on your cheek through the glass door
like a warm hand
remember your grandparents waving goodbye
from their door on Charmuth
and your parents
top of the hill
low lingering light
silhouettes waving.

the chair

Even at 80 mph
I knew what the chair used to be:

green cushions with white buttons
it sat on a patch of astroturf
in a screened-in porch.
Faced a small glass table where
ice tea was served and fresh tomatoes were stored.
And in winter,
its cushions were stored and it sat bare-chested
braving winds that fluttered its
white thick-strapped spine.

Spring cleaning meant
cobwebs were removed
and the chair was bathed on the deck
with soapy water the kids
sprayed on each other.
The cushions were fluffed, tied gently back on for
another lazy season.

Until one strap broke.
The kids moved out, and
when there was a sale at Sears, the chair
was left to face west on I-95, naked
to the elements
and the drivers hurrying home from work.

Sticks and Stones

this certainly isn’t the worst day
but it is a spitting Tuesday, dark, gray,
November where the leaves have lost
and given up and died.
i see them lying in the street wet, glistening
like they’ve been crying.
i see the trees now twigs
perfectly skinny but strong,
and ripe for a hanging.

we all hurt each other daily
with slices and cuts and stabs of words.
the constant sticks and stones
that strike so regularly and steadily
it reminds me of Chinese water torture,
so much so
we don’t even notice anymore,
it’s just the background white noise that is
slowly driving us mad.

it is certainly not the worst,
it just is one of those every days
like the spitting rain,

the re-reading of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

wrote a rough rough sketch of this several years ago, just after college i guess. revised slightly here today. here’s a link to the poem, one of my all-time favorites:

the re-reading of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

the silence after
roars like a night train
it shakes the house so
that Eliot and I
curled in our green tea
must turn twice, and again

i sense your
presence absent
who to guess that nothing
could be so heavy to move
the weight of all that air
blowing precarious

to and fro, to and fro

she is a child with sticky fingers

She ran away from home
off from the one brown bench and making friends
with the blue heron with silver wings.

Her sticky fingers
ran skipping through raw and naked waves
during hurricane Floyd’s slip and slide.
Sliced air in spirals swirling
while smoking opium in a
red wig and rainbow Mardi Gras dress
with her new friends,
and the Allman brothers.

Again and again, she licked and
returned for seconds,
loving that manic dancing frantic excitement

almost as much as
the crushing low.