Poem for Frank and Mark and Joshua

It is four thirty and I close my computer and set my VCR
and pull on my shoes, brush my hair, it is Sunday, never
a sabbath, not for three years, I pull on my work
shirt and coat, and start searching for my keys
four-forty I am out the door, enveloped by a cloud of tiny rain bites
I think for the first time, I will see him tonight.

At Pacific I buy Altoids and Trident
I will offer the Altoids to him with a wink, “they’re curiously strong”
the Trident makes me think of a hand in the small of my back, Josh’s
he would chew it, cinnamon engulfing us as we
danced outside the Deluxe, resplendent in 1940’s wear as the
flower children gathered on the Haight sidewalk to watch
the double reverse pretzel
no scoffing ever, no one from 1995 was there.

I walk past the immaculate housing projects of china town, laundry smells,
fish markets, and the phlegm of the old spat on the street, I think of last night when
I dreamt of his accusing face, him waving a poem on yellow paper in his clenched fist.
On Mason street, the light slants under the fog pouring
through the golden gate to light the rising cream facade of Saint Peter
and Paul, Alcatraz already mythicaly obscured.

Along Stockton where the luggage store has been replaced by
a Sanrio store, and Capps where the bartender comes out to ask me not to kiss him
when his wife is there, and past Little City where the pastry chef, smoking
a cigarette outside in the alley invites me to brunch, I think of him in the drizzling
comfort my neighborhood, across the muddy square and to
the blue light I look through the tall picture windows
where the black and white clad waiters
joke and buff silver I can see
he is wearing my tie.

Separator image Posted in writing.