Plus Ça Change
That swagger-daddy On the Red Line el
asks the auntie if she’s Spanish
she’s Italian he requests a sex act:
poor lady won’t muster insult or outrage
and we roll our eyes on her behalf.
Faces forge authentic Etched as wrinkles,
they laugh, as she, refusing, shakes her head
’cuz boys will be boys and they both know
from his perspective at least it don’t hurt.
Nature has rhythms: Bodies, breath(e)
digest and reproduce season(s)
fold predictably into unpredictable inevitability.
smolder over gender revelations
making space new landscapes
replicating infinite variations.
We are on the same train
they sat here we’ll sit there
wondering how chill as ever
this world this world
could die having so far
since this world began only rendered life
You tell me I left a gold-beige stain:
concealer marring white hotel towel.
You, for whom everything's a text,
subject to rigorous interpretation,
tell me how we treat a towel is fractal
of our footprint on the world at large.
Do you remember those Turkish carpets,
near the Virgin Mary house?— each with flaw;
small, deliberate; highlighting our humble role
as servants of some Higher Power,
and if you tell me my error renders
our union besmirched as a stained towel,
I’ll tell you I am double-bound: the need
to hide my imperfection ensures its revelation.
About Last Night
At a seminar with some people
from work, my best friend from high school,
many strangers I was keen to impress, and Samuel Beckett.
He must have been a descendant of the Irish playwright,
although he was a compact Asian man and a philosophy professor,
both, coincidentally, like my waking life boyfriend,
and he had a cute poodle he kept needing to walk.
Peeled someone else's banana and ate too many cookies,
couldn't find the ladies' room and had to relieve
myself, discreetly, in the park next door where some bros
were playing basketball. Squatting, I worried about the hem
of my dress, and, worse, cameras documenting any indecent exposure.
My best friend from high school was showing home movies
and, in several, my parents appeared, my father with long 1970s sideburns
and both with a lot of black still in their hair.
It seemed important that I say something about my sexual response,
quick, despite the Prozac, and strong, despite my age,
but I couldn't see how to work that in, how to explain
it was not on behalf of myself, I wished to speak, but the world.