before I speak, a whiskey'd baritone.
A pause, the feeling passes, and I'm fine.
A family tree roots in the jagged mind
and wonder if I'm sliding past my prime
I really am, there's my piano, time
when a caller asks if I'll subscribe to Time
return to writing while my heart unwinds
And have nothing left for sleep but this sweaty duvet
And a salami and muenster on rye. I don't even like salami.
I'm used to noodles; I've grown fond of fronds
Waving green above waves of blue and white,
Yet my portfolio is held in trust. Where does that leave me?
In a cab with nothing smaller than a hundred?
On an empty Amtrak platform 3 A. M.?
My best friend told me a story once about an elephant
Running amok in a market, and I wish I could recall
The punch line, but I have a subconscious fear
Of comedy that makes me appear ridiculous
At even the most idiotic occasions. I went
To several specialists and baffled them.
That was worth the expense, believe me.
There are few gaps in conversation
That a large slice of key lime pie can't fill,
And the sheer wonder of such moments irrigates
The encroaching stupor with light and melody,
With songs of thanksgiving, for potholders,
For indoor plumbing, any old thing made new.
Under that sort of pressure, I tumble now and then
Yet manage to land on the ground, grateful
For gravity once more, that such a weak force
Arranges heavenly bodies to the eye's delight-
How many summer nights have I spent
In no one's arms but these, rapt
And humming with unspoken urges!
So don't expect the world when you open the envelope.
That way, the little planet that falls into your palm
Will tickle like a wet kiss placed lightly there.