and that was one thing quickly becoming another
— Gerald Stern, “Red Wool Bathrobe”
I’d like to invite you to the party but I don’t
know your name, have your address, or
know you well enough to really want you
around my cat. I feel a kinship with all people
and then I share a beach with them and want
to yell use your inside voice. We’re outside
but that doesn’t mean we’ll not dissolve
if raised to the light. Some days the sea wants
to chew us into shattered two-by-fours.
Some days she’s a kitten pasting soft hairs
around our ankles. I know—I know this for
a fact—there are moist pasta salads being
prepared and eaten all around me—in those
bushes for instance—and I’m not getting any.
I tried to start my life out right and still
lost track of where I was going. Example,
I picked my college because my girlfriend
went there. She slept with my best friend.
I went there anyway. That determined
the course of the rest of my life. I wiped
the table down with bleach before sitting
and now my forearm smells. It’s going
to be okay though. I’m going to need this
bleach-arm for some purpose. To identify
some wanderers in the sky it’s helpful to
determine the color. At a distance everything
for me goes gray. A mountain range in
a black-and-white film. We’ve been walking,
my horse and I, for days. For water we
think about rivers and lick our own ideas.