Some Men

343

So when he left

I longed for the old
house I had. So often,
late summer in that
house, marigolds
on the steps for a
lost weekend.
One year I raked
maple leaves until
I passed out. The
long shadows,
the long space
where his body
was. Only the hand
print on the wall,
all that there was
of him

Those lovers

some, let’s say the first,
you stop eating for,
call at the last moment
If you are 13 you’re sure
you can’t live without
them. Or you work on
science projects fever-
ishly, aching for the
phone. Some join the
Navy, send you cheap
Cuban coins from there
S.W.A.K. on the box.
His uniform makes you
heady. Weeks of kisses
in his navy blues and
then on leave, he shrugs
when asked if you should
wear a stole and never
again is heard from.
Some take you out in
a field, then upstairs in
the hotel where you let
him peel off spray rhine
stone earrings and the
stretchy wool dress
with net and sparkles.
And when you don’t
let them peel your hymen
from what’s still holding
it, don’t call again. Some
you never cared for but
needed a date for some prom.
Others are so insistent it’s
easy to waste a night or two
with them. The ones that
are too shy to call, you
feel their eyes burning
thru you. Some would be
lovers call from the Vatican
or Notre Dame say they have
their vows but would you send
something that’s been close to you
like your un-washed underwear

Some men that aren’t quite lovers

one was a looker, then
suddenly, on the steps up
to the dorm, pulled out his
penis. Four years later,
even more handsome,
he pulled a “Ronnie
Selsman” in the lobby of
the college dorm. Some pass
out on your couch and
you can’t get rid of them.
One offered me a job,
grabbing my crotch. When
I pushed him away he
took back his offer. One
said he was joining the army.
I ought to do the dirty,
that it was the patriotic
thing to do. Some try to
hypnotize you, say they’ll
count back from the
and you let him do what
he wants and you’ll forget it.
One saw my picture in
Rolling Stone, as if I had a
Jewish nose, said I looked
like Dylan’s girlfriend.
He wanted to send me plane
fare. He thought since he
was an ex Bird, I’d be
thrilled to have him judge
me nude, test me out. Then
like another he told me
he put on the next plane back,
be happy to let him walk
all over me

Another sort of lover

One was the last man in the
world I would have wanted.
I turned TV off when he did
the sports news. No one
could have less in common
with me. A date to a play,
the only reason I went. I
got a few poems out of the
night at the motel with hearts
on the ceiling and mirror
he passed out under. Some
where , a warm up jacket I
wore and scorched years later
when the power went out
and the Challenger exploded.
I doubt he read anything more
than the sports page. Yet he
wanted to marry me, life
a life of bliss watching the
Yankees train in their winter
home in Florida, spend the
rest of the year at football
or basketball games
and hockey

One man

took me to breakfast,
might as well have been
a million years ago

Someone who was supposed
to meet me didn’t. My
hair thicker and

darker, perfect skin
tho I didn’t know. A
decade ago he saved me at

an Above Paradise reading
on a west coast. He was
a looker. He seemed to care

I couldn’t remember, did I
sleep with him in some
abandoned year? and

then near the Everglades
he was there, with a look, a
way that said somehow

we had. Even with his
woman walking thru the
park with Florida flowers

perfuming the night, some
intimacy, some talk, some
hush as if we knew too

much about each other.
Some look These last
months he writes me more:

how I didn’t eat any
breakfast, just wasn’t
hungry and in the last note

this week, days nothing
good has happened, his
freeze frame of me:

on the bus stunning
he writes you were stunning,
wildly stunning

then you were gone