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Also by Kevin Stein:
Juliet Prowse and the Cast of Can-Can Dance for Nikita Krushchev, Hollywood, 1959 | Love Poem Penciled above April's Sad Math | Politics of Mop and Sponge

Love Poem Penciled above April's Sad Math

Never mind that. Tax forms and fudged receipts.
Numbers’ work is despair, as when a lover begins,
“Let me count the ways,” the sum sets no fruit,
her roots in clay. This time I’ll dawdle in lawn chair
beneath the plum’s yawn of bloom and wonder
which is more to bear: blossom or kept promise,
the keeping or the dropping away? When we met,
I played Mercutio and she the beguiling Juliette
romanced by some twit with ladder and tights.
Sword play in verse. Jealousy. Sot of borrowed wit,
I died, spilling “But tis enough, twill serve” all over
the front row’s shoes. Faux blood. Real tears.
Twenty-five bucks a pop, going wage for stage death,
enough to spring for the 12 hundredths carat ring,
its diminutive monument to bad acting—as even now
I wiggle too much to play a tree, head to shoulder
in blossom and bees. Tufts of pollen
dust my lips, thrumming as ours on closing night:
back seat stars adrift the Chevy’s leather heaven.

Printed in the Spring/Summer 2000 issue of CLR

Kevin Stein

Kevin Stein is the author of five books of poetry and criticism, most recently Private Poets, Worldly Acts (Ohio University Press, 1999), essays on poetry and history. The poems printed here will appear in his forthcoming collection, Chance Ransom, to be published by University of Illinois Press in Fall 2000. He teaches at Bradley University.

You can find Kevin Stein on the web at:
—  Bradley University
—  Bruised Paradise
—  An Illinois Portfolio
—  Chance Ransom
—  Private Poets, Worldly Acts
—  Amazon (Please note that this page will list works by multiple authors named Kevin Stein)
—  Barnes & Noble (Please note that this page will list works by multiple authors named Kevin Stein)

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