Blue-eyed Wayne

I guess the idea there

was that if I met a student,

a seminarian,

of the Princeton Theological Seminary,

I’d see you could be that

and whatever came after

(a minister, a priest?)

and still have sex

or get married or both

and maybe she was suggesting

one of those for us,

though I doubt it now.

Wayne was friendly enough.

I’d like to know what I asked him,

since I didn’t know why

I was meeting him.

Mostly I was just in love with a girl –

and tennis and gin,

and a quarter-cut lime mixed with

theological ideas.

There are forgotten reasons why

There are forgotten reasons why

you didn’t do what you didn’t do,

but now you’ve only what still

never existed – Technicolor scenes

and whiskey ads, gunboats in Esquire,

the Senator before his subcommittee,

the microphone, people clinging

to his every word.

From where you watch he’s far away,

mute lips on a screen as sunlight

climbs the outer wall. Soon there’ll be

nothing left to catch it. It will unravel

in cold dark corners of space.

Man on the bus

Back when I worked at Charlie’s

on Broadway,

in Seattle not in New York,

I got it for once from both sides –

the dreamy looks and jokes,

the ever-in-my-section, thumb-rubbing-

fingers like the promise of money –

and the thing itself – big tips and a

206- just for being me.

The money part’s the part that made me not

mind it overly much – though I’d hustle in and out

when it was a group of guys,

with their hush-before-arrival and

giggle-when-I-was-gone.

They could hope for their

“maybe later at the–”

where I’d never ever be. And so

it was nothing, nothing at all

until one day on the bus I

looked at a girl and she looked at me

until she looked away uncomfortably

and got off the bus.

Only then did I recall

the man who’d scared me off

with that same hunger on that same bus,

and thus became clear

what was ever clear to a girl:

Men will ever be menacing,

and I will ever be of them.