Thursday, March 26, 2009

Buttons

1.

I drink a Manhattan,
eat a plate of nachos,
smoke a cigarette.

Jennie says: I love Neil Young,
I love the Encyclopedia Boys,
Even at the tender age of eight
I imagined I was Encyclopedia Brown’s girlfriend.

We drink white wine in her apartment,
a charming friction on the tongue.
We smoke out the window.
She calls herself a champagne bubble of a girl,
But she’s a lady, damn! She’s a Lady if I ever.

2.

I do the laundry, wash a rug, sing along
to the album someone wrote
just for me, every word,
I am certain.

Why do we hold on
when we should hold out?
dragging our hearts
across pavement.
lumpy, lumpy, heart.
Big mystic mind.


3.

Everything I say
I say for real
this time,
my second, my endless chance,
and with gusto.

4.

already I am an old woman,
fingers furled, milky eyes,
wandering around this fine home,
collecting spoons (you know those collections?)
asleep with a book by
midnight.

5.
cold in the month of June
all around you radiance grows,
the sky bottoms out in your eyes.
you will not answer your phone,
you will not answer me this.
but I never called.


I will be what I am
and you will in your time
be what you are.
Even still,
you will want to please me,
you will want to ease me,
you will learn to pray.

6.

My mother was a pirate
my father, a spade,
the night I was conceived.

7.

Hillary says,
heat on the lungs
means grief.


I watched one man die
I watched his body turn
inward, and the heat go out
of him, I watched as they
collected him and zipped him
in a black shiny bag.


And at the funeral
a woman said, my you have
the nicest hair.

Don’t I know?

Don’t I?

8.

I get on my knees,
the floor is wood, rough
wood, we pulled up the
linoleum to get to it.
I get on my knees
this morning.

9.

Where I’m from
the men get shaved clean
and slick back their hair.
The women drink cans of beer
and tell the men to shape up
or ship out.
And there’s many a woman
in these parts, homesteading
it alone, smart as whips
lickity split, chop a cord of wood.


10.

Bee, bee, bee.
You called the bee from me.

I will be humble,
I will be humble,
and receive
these buttons,
all forgiven.

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