Because it was clear wide summer
everything was open: magnolias bigger than air,
the usual night sky, the Circle-K,
the legs of the woman who promised
to love you, which really meant “I won’t
leave just yet…”
It was all clutter and fumble, flesh un-
hinging, the overhang, the window,
also open. It was September,
which means back to school sales,
which means the hazelnut tree will
drop its bounty.
It was two tongues, speaking out
of turn, out of sincere appreciation,
out of an earnest belief in art: the sounds
they made meant that they knew:
we all become artists, we enter
the creative field to get laid.
You who are not an artist, you who
haven’t kissed anyone since
before the last windstorm, you who
paint the most beautiful blues and greens
can’t imagine what I mean. But of course
you can. I’ve two tickets but I only need one.
She is not really like anyone, but again,
she’s like every she before. He’s an old
hand at summer romance, sea shore,
flubs. Together they have this: coffee,
the same quiet sense of humor. They met
at a convenience store. She bought a Slurpee.
These lines are unruly; they get away
from me. The end of the summer
used to mean pumpkins and smoke
in the air. Now it means something
like silence. The cold air no longer
consoles, isn’t crisp.
These bodies are dirty. A spider
hangs suspended between the asphalt curb
and the high branch of a tree. In this dusk,
it looks as if it’s hovering. Don’t jostle
the limb. Don’t undo the work of the heart here,
it’ll get there on its own.
“I hope their mouths are open,”
“Give me wine, give me shoes, or a cigarette,
something, Darling. Something.”
“I have a bauble. I have a book about devils.”
“If you kiss me, I’ll read your palm.”
“It will be like looking at an eclipse.”
Author Discusses Poems