Beach Blanket

Not so much sex on the beach as second
base on a sandy blanket, wet towel
barely concealing the rhythmic movements
of her hand on his manhood roughly ten
feet from where I’m tanning, reading, eating
a peanut butter sandwich. The girl on
her back, straps undone, t-shirt over her
face to protect it from the sun; the guy:
much older, pretending to massage her
shoulders, leaning over her, constantly
checking if the white-haired gentleman to
our left setting out his chair has any
clue what’s going on there, never looking
at me, or maybe knowing I don’t care.

The Prince of Eternia

For outside of Grayskull castle walls
Like a mouth the drawbridge hangs
Undead cavalry bent on darkest deed
Advance in nightfall amid the ghouls

With bang of shield and lance atop a
Steed so very limber rides the dread
Form of Skeletor his cross campaign
So foul to shake the boards of timber

Above the omen Blood moon wails
As horse and soldier clack the nails
Inside steadfast Adam unbowed sees
Pause of charge as governor leans he

Stoops to moat that circles tower to
Wash like shower clean his hands for
All to see then horde abandoned off
He flees as legion footfall storms yet

Unshook Eternal prince transforms
Before a rider reach his lonely tower
So swift he rises tall he roars by the
Power of Grayskull I have the power.

Dough

Rolled oats or miscellaneous other
possible cookie ingredients strewn
across the kitchen counter. Is “strewn” an
oats verb? I assume that there are proper
baking words one would use to describe the
sight of overexcited particles
of half-mixed batter splattered, scattered, or
whatevered. I’m not communicating
myself innately like the baked good I’m
making is able: one clear memory
for the sight of flour on the table; one
for the indelible smell from the hot
oven; another for the taste, homemade;
one for the love of someone feeding you.

A Date With Molly Ringwald

At first she resists my urge to be herself. I don’t
Know who you think I am those are just pictures
They’re not really me not me now y’know? Yeah
I say although I know they  wrote the parts for 

Her how those moments that I know are her a
Long time ago sure we were all different some
Of us changed maybe a little more I’m glad my
Own youth wasn’t captured on film. This place

Is so busy, she shifts in the chair set up beside
Crowded tables, the barista clacks a mug and
Gives somebody wifi. Now her eyes are out the
Window for a pause I breathe then she sees in

Marker my name on a hot chocolate whip cream
Lids off the cups, on hers colored lipstick and the
Words Sixteen Candles, she sees me look to look
Away only to look back, smile, stare, blink, grin

She takes a sip, it’s an excuse to think how she’s
Not sixteen anymore. She sips to look at me, her
Lips, her nose crinkles, her eyes twinkle amber
Energy at the thought I know that look it looks 

At first like disapproval I know she’s coy that’s
The appeal not that at however old she is now she
Reminds me of looking pretty in pink it’s that she
Was first of all the girls to look so pretty in pink

So grown up, all the girls before her knew she
Was a woman. She looks up, laughs it’s so weird
For a second there I felt nervous like I was in
High school like you wanted me to be a teenage

Version of me and I realized it’s just me that
Thinks that and she smiles, we each take a real
Sip now the talk is real and what I want is all in
Reach like we’re both sixteen, invincible, like

A soundtrack cues to tell you we are different
Now, no longer i
nvisible
And we’re too wise to care I smile, stare look
Away, let the moment sink, look back, blink.

Conference Room

Go to sleep and dream three years of a tough
relationship, love the shoe string holding
your two tin cans together, until that
fateful dream day when a stranger arrives
to rob your house, kill your wife, and then die
in the escape, and you’re left to tell the
police the whole thing. Wake up to go pee.
Go to sleep and dream of another lifetime,
a hot tub scene with another lover
completely, devoted to each other
and to the steamy feelings bubbling up
from below the surface, take your love on
the road, a jungle cat in a circus
show, and you don’t know your lines, but that’s fine.

Dust Jacket

To match my dust hat, my dust shirt and tie,
my dust-shined shoes and dirty leather belt,
my dust felt-tipped pen and mustard yellow
notebook, my wood and clay wallet, my dust
socks and dust boxers, my rock monocle,
my grass-stained vest (my very best), my dust
undershirt, my dirt clod cufflinks, chain, and
pocket watch, my mud umbrella, my dust
walking cane with the hidden blade, my dust
cigarette case, my filthy handkerchief,
my dust coat and tails, my dust tux and pale
muck cummerbund, my toxic scotch snifter,
my unwashed, “No, in fact I can’t spare a
buck, mister,” grimace, back from the cleaners.

Go. Lightly.

I try, and fail, to imagine what it’s like –
To not know that you don’t overturn a planter
on the kitchen counter. To have no way of
summoning the words to explain why you did it.

There is dirt, dirt everywhere, and she is
fixated on the barely-visible cookie particle
between the stove and the fridge. She
can’t stop wanting to get rid of the television –

the assurances that it will be removed when
there is sufficient manpower to do it
soothes for only a minute, perhaps two,
and then it’s back to the why. Why is it there.

Her world is shrinking. She has a vague memory
of being active in the morning, of making things
look better, but cannot remember the simple
actions of reaching under the sink for the

cleaning supplies. Her sleeves are always
stretched out, sopping wet. She moves
a knick-knack, a framed picture, then moves
it back again. This is “cleaning.” Hence –

the dirt piled on the kitchen counter. I think,
who knows what she would have done with
it if we hadn’t come up here just now?
She
may have put it back in the planter. She may

have tried to put it down the disposal. I have
so many trust issues now, and yet she trusts
me implicitly; she obediently sits and eats her
toast as we try to manipulate the dirt into

a Stop & Shop bag. She drinks her juice and
marvels at the cleanliness of the counter when
we have finished. And I can’t get mad. This
is not her fault. She doesn’t know any better
.

And this is what I simply cannot understand.

What I do understand is the power of words.
Not please don’t dump dirt all over the counter,
but Maybe the older you grow and the less easy
it is to put thought into action, maybe that’s why

it gets all locked up in your head and becomes
a burden.
I am reading Capote to her. In her
well life, he was a favorite. She listens, rapt,
laughs at everything you’re supposed to laugh

at, like she remembers having read it the first
time, and then again. And again. Golightly’s
frantic monologues soothe us. And in these
moments together, there is understanding.