What did Abraham do?
He did what all other fathers
since him are striving to do.
Abraham just bought a color TV.
The color TV looks right
with the tones of the air in Brooklyn.
Abraham likes to walk about.
He likes the city at twilight.
The orangeness, those ancient
Now Abraham has been watching his TV.
So Abraham goes home to his wife
and her Salisbury dinners
and the cool truths of the evening
but then Abraham has a previous wife
he loves more too.
He imagines her ghost will trail him
to his last breaths.
Their son has gone off to college
by the good hills and woods and
of rural Pennsylvania.
Cookies are easy
they go upside down
all across the City
in New York City
we could be baking and making
with something between us
something different and new and old
people would eat them
chocolate and walnut with sea salt
in our domestic space
your hands or her hands
my hands or his hands
mixing the batter in a bowl
a green or blue glass bowl
the pasty granules turning over and
over earthen or delicate hands
and yellow light from the 20th Century
cutting highlights in
the glass of the bowl
surrounding around us
around our heads the memory of
so we take the scents
the butter, the burning
the cars, the smog
the flowers from yesterday in the hall
and we kiss
with batter under our fingernails
the wallpaper stares
yeah, we chose to wallpaper the walls
to liven the place up a bit
I mean this is the freaking City
it needed a little coziness
I understand a couple more things
this time around
Oh, I’ll never love her again.
I mean I’ll certainly love her,
but I won’t LOVE her.
Not like I did with the cool air
blowing in through the window
onto the strained meow of her
old gray and black tabby cat
sprawled across the small kitchen table
in that sixth floor apartment in Brooklyn.
I’ll never know Spring like that again.
It won’t come for me again,
breaking the sunrise over the M train
traversing the Williamsburg Bridge.
These are the molecules of the city,
hormones of the corpus,
a man’s firm body atop the softness of
where the land and ocean gather,
and memories are left to their stillness.
Our apartment was rickety and impoverished,
almost like an old Michigan lake house
perched above a block in the City.
The glass in the windows had fallen downwards
over the years
to bend the view of the street below and the
twinkling lights of Manhattan in the distance.
The wood of the frames was rotten.
Below, they cooked greasy Thai noodles and
you could smell sweet curry and grilled eggs
in the afternoon when trying to nap between
orgasms on a Saturday.
Cars always stuttered and honked and
scented everything in charcoal.
Above, on a wooden plank floor painted with
lime latex paint was a cheap twin futon bed
where I had her every night to every morning
from the summer of 2004 to the spring of 2005.
The curves of her body filled my hands like
the moon in the night sky.
I breathed her fertile scent. It lived on my
lips and hands. I would go off to work a
mindless job, she still lived in my nose.
She helped me be mortal and still lives in
my dreams after all this is left for the dead,
the dead between the floors that scatter the
wasted hopes of a city in squalor, coughing on
the honesty of sunrises.
There isn’t anything, any day, any freighter
to the Sea
any night was born to be in winter
Over Crown Heights, Brooklyn
her laughter drops upon the dead gray stairs
I first helped her
to the rooftop the cold ass air crimped her lips
with every puff of her cigarette
she let go to the city what would become poetry
in an ancient, everlasting moment
the manner of stone
that frames me, gives me farmhouses, trees,
New England mountains and orchards
that I remember
There isn’t, there isn’t anything, anywhere, in the
schoolyards back there
I can say my love for you is to smell water
to smell water in the Clackamas woods
In Crown Heights Brooklyn I first smelled
the scent of your mineral presence
left solitary beside bricks
with the taste of your lips
burned to infolds of genetic material
recalled recurring refolded
Formed a dominion
a landscape of eras
fires burning on far distant planets
To go away for a trillion years
a natural headlong cosmic journey
but the division of atoms happens again
we will kiss
in some form or some manner
as time is long enough
and it is
It won’t be the last breath we say “again”
“I’ve felt this somewhere before”
So I smell you in water, the water of stale houses
or the rusted pipes of Andean fountains
corroded by the good honest rocks up high
All the little ways that love falls apart
To perfectly part, not to perfectly part
Left a bag in a cart on a subway
On Sunday argued in the pouring rain
Fucked up the umbrella, then annihilated it
against a cold gray light pole
off the avenue
Were we trying to understand something?
The dog you didn’t train very well went to
a good home
where a young boy loved her with all his
and she passed away after about seven years
I left a bowl on the table
You said don’t do that
I said “so, sue me”
You wanted more salt in the dish
The rain soaked kisses made your kisses taste
in the air
when we breathed over fresh cut fields
at a different time, different place
when we should have always made up
when we did we made up really good
I don’t even remember the front doorway
I don’t remember where the mailbox was
I remember the clangs of the heels on her boots
that first night
following her up the hard stairs to fuck
I remember the stairway would echo
and make her appear so womanly with that momentum
everyday she passed in this stairway it was
like this, kind of like an old hospital
I remember waiting for her like a dog waiting to be fed
I could smell her scent when she was two floors below
but I don’t remember any features of that stairway
or front doorway
I do remember the outside of the door was caked up layers of
black paint with graffiti and spray paint all over it
I remember lots of specs of silver and one loud zig zag mark
I halfway recall the door handle was brass and scratched up
I entered that door about twelve hundred times between
august and march
one time was after I picked up a winter care package
from my mother
at the post office around the corner
she sent us flannel snowman sheets
I’ll love you forever.
People never change.
I won’t love you anymore.
I love you forever.
If you haven’t matured.
No, I’m talking about maturity.
We are closer to death
once we’re born into life.
Love is always being unborn or
unbore by mortal ones.
Unloaded and let go of.
You do portend to stop bearing.
Love is like death.
In the empty Brooklyn warehouse.
It’s going back around the corner
into the brick building
by that intersection,
back into time,
back into the streets of Portland,
up the western hills.
Or, people never change.
Or, people change.
In the empty Brooklyn warehouse.
I’m craving Pepsi.
I’m wanting your hair.
Your hair’s the same color as Pepsi.
I never crave Pepsi, but
I do frequently want your hair.
Especially, these days.
Want its scratchy texture on my chest
when I wake up.
Its scent of lotion, dairy and small
summer flowers from the islands of Scotland.
Now, I’m craving an ice cream float
with you in a slightly cold Brooklyn apartment
on a Saturday afternoon in November,
some rain clouds off in the distance
drifting outside the window.
We walk towards them later that evening.
The sunset flutters in shredded layers
of orange and pink, colliding with
the grays of the storms and the navies of night
across the old brick buildings and
the new high-rise condos.
We walk holding hands.
We’re older than the others who do this.
Our love makes us young at heart.
It makes us courageous and compelling.
It makes us good examples.
Our eyes have always had a certain kind
of conviction when you put us together.