Each time I pull out a calculator
I feel that disapproving
look outweigh your seductive
glint. It doesn’t add up—nothing
does since I discovered you
were gone to the numbers
bonfire beyond. And you’ve been monitoring
the flame for years. Where was I?
I never let you take me
to the Take No Heroes Hotel.
Now I’ve misplaced the directions
but can still prove
I haven’t lost my way. I remember
something about forgetting limits.
Let my lucky 8
get knocked down tonight.
Fountains spout in rain, splatter
in wind. If we had been
lovers, a bitterness would have prevailed
the way it has for all these others.
Might have been threats
left on answering machines:
“If you ever darken
my doorstep again.” Cruel
confessions: “I could see living in the City
but not with you.”
“She laughs more.”
“I don’t love you anymore.”
“I never loved you.”
“This is my O Lucky Man!
This is good-bye.”
Nothing can dismantle the purity
of a death that saves us.
You never saw my city—didn’t get arrested
for something we might have—
what’s done is done to be
without regret as I place blue
poppies on stone. It’s the same
latitude as where you were born
where you rest now
where I live out these days
as an almost fugitive. No more
eyes on this one—invisible and lifelong.
Will drink the new wine. The only conversation
I’ll have this weekend
is with you. If
erythrophobia was fatal, you would have been
a serial killer. Or was it just me?
Not yet vintage, I wanted to be
your only victim. A true enough
kiss to taste the tobacco
before it became my own. I long
to be the person again
who comes along
to stir yours. Though I can’t lick
your ghostly replies, the scent is rich
in pre-fall burning. Hold the leaves.
I enter the quiet
life through a seam
in this wall. First time I heard
your voice was a homecoming. Tell me
if ghosts speak. With a pronounced
accent? Is the language
of flowers reserved for them
the way I’ve reserved myself
for what’s left
of you? Memory is seamless.
Close enough is never enough
to align your hips
with my waist
no matter how long I ride
this train going south. I overshoot
the dream by a zone
or two. It’s up to me
to make adjustments. In your permanent
state—you won’t budge. But
weather is everywhere—weather is
god. I am everywhere wondering where
you’ve gone to weather god.
The poetry’s in
and this latitude
we almost finally share.