Thursday, April 30, 2009

Encore for Leslie

While black vines of arms spiral
around a guitar that chug chug chugs
a broken moan, a vibration
through the rush hour commuters in the
darkness under Grand Central,
a tall boy lowers his pelvis, with a
wide stance, to his girl,
crotch to crotch,
soft chest to hard chest, and
wraps his hands around her ass.

Remember summer nights in our Tulsa apartment?
We were wrung out and wet, filling
the room with the aroma of sex, exhausting
the ritual of love grip wrapped around hardness.

Two nights ago my dream was shattered
with your sobbing. And then you spoke and
echoed in the hollow of our bedroom, and
I saw New York descending into you,
the spotlight of a thousand comedy basements
penetrating and filling
you with restless shadows,
swelling you with sorrow.

Remember when I'd blush at
your public kiss? In the hum of Brady Theatre
when I dared to touch your hand, colors
spun out the speakers.
I got hard just smelling your hair.

Tonight alone outside Whiskey Sunday,
the spirit of New York is
a ghost of a ghost,
sprawled, aching, crawling
over the tree tops of Prospect Park.
But -- uno, dos, tres and the dishwasher's
apron twirls as he lifts and spins his girl
in the street light of Lincoln Road.

This morning you told me I fondled
your breast in my sleep till I
turned over on top of you --
you said, "Baby, I don't think you're awake,"
and I relaxed, covered you,
pressed you into the mattress.

The long winter is over, baby.
Spring is here.
And you're wilting
among the applause
of tulips in the park, the applause of
footsteps off the Q, the clatter of
early leaves...
and the laughter, the laughter amplified by your own microphone.

And I'm here. I'm applause, too.


  1. this is incredible.

  2. This is beautiful and heartwrenching. I love that you intertwined other lovers into your own narrative. You take the reader to the very edges of either end of an emotional spectrum. Well done.

  3. Honesty in all things breeds credibility and casts an almost more than real reflection. I would have appreciated a little foreshadowing before I was thrust into some of the scenes, but ah well.

  4. All the images here have emotional weight,--each one becoming a metaphor for the next--and flow nicely toward an honest conclusion. This poem makes me deal with complex emotions, and I grateful for it