The straighter the avenue,
The more luminous the stretch of empty night under pale orange incandescence,
The deeper the lust of human touch, of smiles, of words,
(I am there)
Where your mind soars endless into the exhilarated mirage of invulnerability
In the violence of your hands,
Of your weaving, reckless speed,
Compounded in liquid intensity
As you steep it in Bordeaux, pale ale, single malt…
As you seal your effective cognizant oblivion
With ideas, dreams, sentiments, deities, desires,
Expectation and deception
…I am there.
Everything you do to forget brings us closer.
The strain of exertion
And every stimulant, entertainment, evasion, narcotic
That you manufacture, inhale, imbibe, absorb,
Penetrate relentlessly and unthinkingly
Is just another way to embrace me, to enter me.
For I am your lover:
All other souls will quit you
With a swift, final indifference.
Only this is unconditional;
Only here do you know the insatiable infinity
That no one—mother, lover, savior, child or friend—
Could ever fully infuse you with.
And like all sincere affection,
Will come when it will.
--March 17, 2000 café Dal Dong Nae, 2:00 a.m.
He sits, determined to hold neutral eyes
To the matte paper and stylized serifs,
Shifts the wooden legs of the chair across the rough texture of tiles,
Crosses legs in the cool interior,
Leans back against his own weight in the chair’s taut frame.
The rich warm liquid blackness
Fording the porcelain smoothness
Marks a contrast in his mind,
A sensual point of anchorage here,
To this bank of the aisle.
Inevitably curious eyes flicker, cross, and spark,
Like loose wires in frayed cable:
Precise minds, wandering fingers.
Settling back with the magazine,
He wants the words to take precedence in his attentions:
“After 18 years of teaching the prestigious Stuyvenant High School in Manhattan…”
But the small of her suspended foot leaks into his peripheral vision.
One sip, he thinks, it’s just one drink
And follows the line of her ankle
Over calf and knee:
Yellow knit hem line, straight back, rounded arms,
--April 22, 2000 at Borders Cafe
Flexes her right arm through the red clay twine
Mesh of her sweater’s sleeve
It is autumn now—October—
The first hints at winter drift through an open door
And over the varnished bronze-blond tones of the bar
Her gracefully slender fingers shoo an empty glass
And draw a new ale to her while
The slurring, heavy man whose presence
Pins her against the bar
Intones words of less depth
Than the passionately banal
Of the dart-throwing drones to starboard
Over her shoulder,
A sudden yellowish flicker
Silhouettes the strands of her time-dried hair
And curls of gray smoke slither over the curve of her arm
As she glances backwards and asks:
“Is that a letter you’re writing?”
--October 20, 1999 at the Gingerman, McKinney Ave
Lustfully shaped, dirty blonde
With patchwork coated white Shelty
Nipping sticks out of her hand
Disappears around distant corner
Where two women in sport-coated slacks
Lean, exhaling Virginia Slims
Over the gradual ramp that
Breathes high-end autos one by one
From within the white steel and mirrored building’s bowels
Into the steady exodus of 5 o’clock
That father and son cross hurriedly
Beneath the peaceful bows of Bradford pears
Over jasmine thatched ground
Casually exchanging friendly, tender touches
Hand to back to us
--July 10, 1999 Infomart