Beautiful man
she had not seen me
but that’s what she said
and I thought how crazy
for the sun to tell
a candle’s flicker
how bright you shine
so I paid our fares
for the interstate bus
and I insisted she sit by the hair oily window
as I took the seat on the gum smeared aisle
that way she would get the pleasant scenery
and I would bear the brunt of things to come
and as the bus was crammed we drew close
and I had not taken a shower
and I knew my odorous rank
when she dozed off
her head on my shoulder
she was feeling safe and sure
I would not rob, touch, or harm her
she was anxious to get back
to the crabs in the bowels of her city
to jitter dive and a tango splash
in a rip roaring rant raving bash
for this hip avant-garde urban party chick to crash
and after swearing I was too old for this mayhem
she became my catbird and I was her casualty
pulling me along kicking into the cavernous
chaos cathartic catering kabuki cart wheeling
smoke and noise…strobe and toys
I was the clunky car puttering stuttering
among the smooth machines of younger men
revving up their ego engines coming on to her
after she had been away for a semester and a season
in a university town stuck in the depressed midwest.
They were shouting in her ear
while she laughed at everything they’d say
which was nothing I could hear
and all I wanted to do was drag her by the arm
into a cozy dark corner and hope I wouldn’t spoil her fun
and let her see I was down way down in a bum
wearing an attitude both jealous and small
which I had to crush or I’d lose her after all.
After all we had risen faster and higher
in a plane about to collide into a melancholic mountain
hanging by the wings my mood took a swing
to the outside and a fresh air ramble
and it was just she and I poetic pilgrims
striding deeper into the fool’s gold forest
climbing steeper above the treadmill tree line
to reach out of our breaths the penitent peak
for a revelatory view of patchwork valleys
foot printed on the dance floors of the rock and roll range
where she revealed what the smooth machine men had said
offering her rings and expensive things
and that’s when I looked as far as I could see
then turned and saw her face so astounding
a face I wanted to bring close
but couldn’t kiss for the wounding
when she stumbled on a stone
an excuse for me to hold her again
and then save us both from falling
and to tell her the hell with their rings
that I would give her this mountain.

July 2010


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