i dance hand-in-hand with the wet sidewalk,
play drunken chess peeking through the slats,
hitch a skirt up high across black jelly clouds,
pull the string and she is mary stone.
i remember her younger: an unexpected visitor,
2 a.m. before a mid-term, she complains of insomnia,
says a good rogering might do the trick…
now she’s older, she keeps bar, strip joint on the corner,
spotlight’s on the goddess while she pours beer for
unshaved ghosts of men face down with the blind robins
bragging of young’ns they’d nailed
while out back children smoke Luckies
and play simon says in staccato.
she is alone on a bridge
in a silent mist, her eyes locked,
swimming, lingering on in pale desolate blue.
they’re coming for her,
red light refracts thru a shot glass,
hope on a rope in the home of spirit’s tragic lantern.
beat it out like jazz, ball in the jack,
once around the park and we were seriously seventeen,
chop shops to smoke hotels,
girders, rivets, bends where there used to be curves,
our first-born conceived as a dirty french novel
under the pulsing porch.