HE TELLS HER THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS IS: REGULAR SEX AND HAVING ALL HIS CLOTHES IN ONE PLACE
The couple with their sweaters tied around their necks,
pace a shore line thick with dulse and plastic wrack.
They throw their best selves, their secrets,
down onto black sand, the beach lit by the oily glow of rocks.
A vagrant, roused from public park sleep, catches
their morning passage, shuffles past to shatter
the slack tide with an arc of piss. The couple scuffs
the kelp, gripes about beach debris, punctuates
their chat with busy thighs and knees, a limber stride.
They laugh; stir up the gulls. They’re loud.
He tips his head, struggles to explain the unfinished
novel, flawless wife, closes with whispers
of the Shangri-la they could inhabit with their little passion,
their one closet, all his shirts and suits.
ANOTHER SUMMER ROMANCE
a fiery question: takes four moths to answer
cool at the edges, toss and swelter at the center
Armageddon in the cow ponds
too hot to rest on
needs key lime, fresh beans
lives behind plate glass
in movies for the chill kaboom
in short sleeves, in linen
in dust that rises up behind a truck
in the skim of sweat in an armpit
with grit, belly flop, tide line,
tan line, wet curl
closer to the wire and the sun
the soles there burn like saints on fire
Survival depends on ice cream
and the speed of the post-vernal whoosh
that slickens a forearm
like honey; it manages the slide into Gomorrah
and Sodom’s flame; it stays out
of the thick breeze, ripe as a peach going rotten.
Nevertheless, it is the where chocolate
melts in your hand. Afterward, don’t look back.
The dead are nothing to the quick.
Too savory. Too solid. Pillars of salt.