Shall we meet on some vacation,
Soaked in summer perspiration
Or put it off till August
When the rains no longer dog us
Or shall I look for you in autumn
Seeking out your soggy bottom
Wrapped in leaves of red and gold
While your ass is growing cold
But not as cold as winter’s blast
Be you ever so steadfast
Will you be on some new caper
Despite the freezing vapor
Or, alas! not until spring
Shall I find you on the wing
Pushed along on some tornado
Nearly halfway to Laredo
Whatever is the season
You choose to fry or freeze in
I hope it’s not too long, my lover
Or soon we’ll have to start all over
I do read your work, telling me
to be a decent sort, which politician
to love, which to despise,
how one kind of suffering
is better than another, or one
rude remark worse than another.
The ponderance presses relentlessly,
huge pendulous images of right thinking,
until I no longer feel I own my own
uncertainty, that my heart can so much as
break without first checking your litany.
Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.
Now I must be on my way or miss
the chance to do it again.
“There’s no time,” she said,
“Any moment now will be
the too-late moment.”
“Can’t we tell
ahead of time?” I said.
“Don’t be an idiot,” she said
“Well,” I said, “that certainly
narrows down the possibilities,
with idiot ruled out.”
“Now you’re just being a jerk.”
“What, that’s not allowed either?”
I sit at a table riddled with worm holes,
As manufactured as the chained and slashed
Surface on which I write, burn marks
Sealed in polyurethane gloss, all for
A borrowed twilight, an impermanence
Enshrined for eternity, or as near it
As artifice can come, fuzz-box guitar
Scratching through the conditioned air.
Outside, the latest mercury vapor lamps
Dressed up gassy, the rhythmic flicker
Punctuating the entrance, everywhere
Authenticity for sale, at a premium.
I examine my coffee, dubiously.
Missed deadline —
robins have eaten
all the berries