August 26, 2004

I'm tired of aching, summer's what you make it

To Whom It May Concern
-- by J.V. Cunningham

After so many decades of ... of what?
I have a permanent sabbatical.
I pass my time on actuarial time.
Listen to music, and going to bed
Leave something at the bottom of the glass,
A little wastefulness to end the day.

Rent
-- by Jane Cooper

If you want my apartment, sleep in it
but let's have a clear understanding:
the books are still free agents.

If the rocking chair's arms surround you
they can also let you go,
they can shape the air like a body.

I don't want your rent. I want
a radiance of attention
like the candles's flame when we eat,

I mean a kind of awe
attending the spaces between us --
Not a roof but a field of stars.

Waiting for You
-- by Dean Smith

Gritty red brick row house
outskirts of Baltimore
circa the second coming,
I'll look through the stained glass between us
while my victrola scratches "Exile on Main Street."

Saturday morning around my way
children tear down the alley,
a lewd cacophony smeared
with a mix of dirt, ice cream.
Mamas spend the day in curlers
watching Bowling for Dollars.

Obsolete papas scrape mustard
from their backfins, over cases
of National Bohemian.

Working the night shift on a loading dock
with a forklift full of broken hearts,
space on my arm for a flamingo tatoo,
I'll wait until you grace these marble steps.

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