Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I find it tough to cross the street

I find it tough to cross the street--
14th, already, smelling of babies' cries
loving children and mothers in
two, almost three languages commanding--
sun at its peak, almost, of
night, haziness like the wave of a lover
across the floor, both old, new

at once a caress or a slap on the back
a scratch on the forehead
as the bus cries and weans
on the street's milk. Darker than
me, laughing hard, and me
smiling as a mug of coffee
dove-tailing and red.

Most days are long fingers
pointing either at me or out.
So tell me, fair: better, then, to
tattoo my eyes of my lids
or sit against the street, red
but looking.

[Things I am jealous of]

Things I am jealous of:
the way in which some poems
may walk from living room
to bedroom, arm in arm
with a lover; and love,
in general, for being so steadfast
and terribly obscure
except in eyes, feet and longing,
and thus more accessible
as we touch, from living room
to bedroom, simple as broomsticks
or rather, painted bright red or green.
Eventually, the sun will draw
against my love's belly
and her body will remind me of a semicolon
one brief end and always
a continuation.