Too Much Eliot
I only listen to Dinah, now.
Also, Belafonte. Optimism plus
despair is the soup of our time.
No hope here. No sea. Some
degraded trees and always
a map that wants to become
something else. I wouldn’t know
a border unless I hit an ocean.
I stand dumfounded when
earth’s lip meets the sea.
There are songs I can’t listen
to anymore. I say it’s because
of the war. Or the plague.
Easier to blame the world
falling apart than to say it’s you.
Only a rookie admits
the source of pain.
Instead, I age. I fade.
No frontiers or bridges, here.
Just endless Aprils.
Sonnet for Julia in March 2020
I get shirtless in my courtyard and nobody minds.
Breasts in the wind like hound dogs, nipples as their
flopping tongues. In this brick and concrete city,
I dream of rolling green and ancient slabs of rock
through which one can travel through time. Basically,
the plot of that softcore show, Outlander,
where the woman is a healer and bigamist.
The places I miss are the places I’ve never been: Beirut,
Scotland, the South China Sea. What is the word in physics
when events co-occur? Months ago, I joked with
a mammogram tech who said, gently, moving me
into the cold machine: Tell me if this hurts. But it didn’t
or apparently my tits like abuse. We laughed. Her name
was Julia. And outside, the city wasn’t doing well.
Author photo courtesy of author