Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Trade

I wanted to call you.
I was at that game.
I saw him meekly
Tip his cap to the fans,
The stadium exploding into black and white waves of thunder
For the return of the man who led them to the prize.

I watched him shake the hands of his once teammates.
He was now in the 9th inning of his career
And we were still in high school,
Yet we knew what it was like to play the last inning too.
This is a new summer, and we
Made trades in the off-season.

On the scoreboard photos brilliantly lit up the evening sky.
In my head, I was picking through our pictures
In my shoebox under my bed.
My memories of hand-holding on the couch
Intertwined with
My memories of him on the television.

When he stepped up to the plate in his red uniform
Like hearts and roses and every other clich├ęd symbol of shattered dreams
(And injured backs)
The speakers cried,
“I’m all out of love,”
And I am.

He fought hard
Fouling off a pitch to the left, taking ball one outside
Before he finally hit a long fly ball
And you could “put it on the board…”
But the pinwheels didn’t spin and light-up
And no fireworks showered down upon us.

I stood alone and cheered.
I remembered how we loved him then
Our matching
Pinstriped black and white button down jerseys
(now like a prisoner of sorrow complete with a number on the back)
A thing for Cooperstown from a time which no long exists.

Awestruck, I clapped my right hand against
My left, which was embracing my phone.
I wanted to call you,
But I didn’t.
I wanted to know if you still loved
Him too.

Our Secret

I am Gloucester
Given a second chance
Through a bold of lightening so strong
The world was illuminated
And I could see
You
And love
You
Before I must return to my darkness
And you must go
To show the world to another
To open his eyes to the beauty
To which I have been
Enlightened.

Dive Bar

Your single television plays the local news
Lined with static and muted
As if the words coming out of the finely dressed
Anchor has anything to do with the lives of those here.
Even the commercials aren’t for them:
They never drank their beer on the beach
Admiring their six-packs and beautiful girlfriends.
No garnishes will touch their warm draft glasses
Or vodka tonics on the rocks
Plain and dull like the
Dim lighting under your Budweiser glass lamps
Hung high over your single pool table tilted
Like your patrons
Drinking PBR out of cans on special
(one can hardly call it “special”)
Webs of dust cling
To the lost license plates and banners lining your wall
And your patrons sitting on bar stools
With ripped leather seats
And the foam protruding out.
No one will say the names of those who are here.
They have no names, only faces.
But the faces are all the
Same to your bartender who serves them:
Forgotten.

Act 9

The critics
Had it all wrong.

The tragedy wouldn’t have even begun
Until Act 9
Where Romeo wakes up alone
Robbed of youth
Working a part-time job
Teaching fencing lessons to spoiled brats
While Juliet is busy feeding
Her seven children to a man
Who only speaks to her when
He’s ready for a view
That Romeo was denied of
Hidden beneath the bushes
Under her balcony
So long ago.

Shakespeare knew how
To conclude a love story.

My Morning Commute

On days when fog rolls in on lion’s paws
The terror brings me miles distant from here
To twins reduced to ash. I lose myself.

My eyelids seared by fire, turmoil. A hol-
y war I never signed up for. Panic! Panic!
I see my city cut down and bleeding.
I hear the cries, a boxer, seeing double.

At first we stop. We all apply our brakes,
Then I get out and jog then sprint towards
Downtown. I run and run while each
Fleeting second means another plane
Strikes- another window shattering down.
The bodies raining down from clouds of smoke
Like dominoes towers fall continuously,

Vibrations shake me awake until
My eyes see the red of brake lights ahead.

An Afternoon Alone at the Botanical Garden

If the entire garden was rosy like your cheeks
When I tell you you’re beautiful,
If I sprinkle you with praise each day,
Would you bloom each spring
Like the tulips?

Renew your love
With a touch of our lips
And let our arms envelop each other
Like the vines which cling to the lattice
Behind the bench where we are one
With the wonders of the natural world.