NaPoMo 2011: 15-21
This is the day set to stop calculating,
to stop saving for something special.
He’ll never be enough, just a tax
on what’s left of my emotional budget.
16 What Longing Means
Sufre mas el que espera siempre
que aquel que nunca espero a nadie?
[Does he who always waits suffer more
than he who never waits for anyone?]
When we were twenty-five a friend snorted
at the notion of deep love. She said that if
her fiancé died, maybe mowed down by a car,
in ten years she’d be sad, but not devastated.
“As long as the mortgage is up-to-date…oh,
and my two children are well-fed, of course,
I’ll go on, be fine.” She had never been madly
in love. I sighed, said I envied her. Then words
escaped me: And I feel very, very sorry for you.
17 In the Act
He came in like a monsoon, whining buckets about some chick.
It’s always the same. She done broke my heart sniffle-sniff,
and now she’s after my money. Sure, sure, he’d had his share
of tarted-up dames on the side. That was different, though.
When a woman cheats, it actually means something. True.
It probably means this whiner adds nothing to the sheets
but a lotta sweat. The guy should carry a mop with him.
But I took his money, retained to shoot cheap photographs
of his wife’s cheap affair. But, the “other man.” He was
something special. So I took him instead. Left those two
cheaters with a full refund and their bigass house in Weston.
18 Not So Fast
I barely budged from the couch, per usual.
Watched half of Massachusetts descend
on Kenmore and Copley Square. Saw
the shot heard round the world refired
on the six o’clock news. So hard to turn
pages of the free magazines picked up
from various spots all week to prep
for the Monday holiday. Carbing up on
canned roast beef hash, I flip to an ad
for running shoes or Gatorade or….
Yay, Japan!!! Nap time. Again.
19 The Rest
Oh, the rest of them, lying under sod,
their work all done now. The sweetness
of resting under their laurels. Tourists walk
over the mossy mouths of them, bones
legendary, some cryptic. And it’s what
we all want on some level. Just want
each time to finally get the writing right,
to leave a mark that warrants having
one’s name inked next to a tiny dot
on that map. For one well-read girl
to become excited on a dreary field trip
for once: Really, Teacher?! She’s
buried here? Oh, where? She’ll march,
practically run, to the other side
of Mary’s columned gazebo, to where
I’ve left my permanent marker. There
she’ll sit, legs pressed to her chest,
marked-up book of poems propped
on her knees. She’ll smile, that very same
odd smile I had first time my fingers
traced “Longfellow.” And knowing
that she’s there, I’ll deliberately send
a shiver through the page. Just for her.
Because she had the decency to care.
[“Before I Sleep” prompt]
20 Ran Into Tim in the Square
When I ran into Tim
in the Square, he said,
“Five bucks for a sandwich
over there!” Really needing
some lunch and a poem,
I bought one, got one free,
then bounced home.
21 Wedding Bells
We were always better in the dark,
whether so heated by fierce debate
that we didn’t bother getting up
to turn on post-dusk artificial lights
or warmed through by the taste
of each other’s steaming tongue-tips.
Now we suffer congregate afternoons
of backyard barbecues with his oh-so
dull boss, my ever-so witty colleague.
Then there’s a ringing in our ears,
all other sounds moot as lips still move
in the fading sun. All we hear is
a promise, a call that links our arms
in the crowd until one heartbeat
drowns out the sun, drives home
the crowd, and we begin once again
to honeymoon under the stars.