Sincerely Written With You And My Penis In Mind

You deserve a better lover
with a more deft touch—
deft isn’t right, see?

I’m a fumbler.

Your body should know
fingers that know

and lips that hover exquisitely
close to torture,

to shudder long afterwards—

mind dreaming, nerves re-sensing
a flash of lightning ignited by

the tongue’s tip on the exact
right place

at the precisely unclockable time.

Sadly, I am not him.
We both know.

I wish I were him for you,

to let you enjoy your body’s
not potential – wonders.

Beethoven cannot be played
by touching only some keys.

I have given you all forms of love,
like this one – poems – and
three fine homes

and taken you first class to the Queen
of England to have High Tea
and scones.

No one has made you laugh more
or ever could I suppose, still
wouldn’t you trade?

It seems a reasonable exchange.

To be kissed in time with the music
of your pulse, your skin going dewy.

I try, I know you sense I do,
and that struggle must be
so disconcerting, during.

So sorry, Dear.
I wish I had a bigger penis for you.
I wish I smelled less smelly, too.

Stock Boy

All those melancholy tattoos
make his arms and hands look heavy
but they move with pure lightness,

setting the deodorants by brand, size
and scent on the shelves; measuring,
from instinct or practice
the exact space between each one.

Customers move around him, reach
over him,
ask multiple questions.
From his blue uniformed knees,
he never loses focus.

He could be Michelangelo, come back.

The way he makes the saggy Family-Size peanut
bags stand with purpose, gives them dignity.
This is art, unnoticed by a world
searching for items that match their lists.

He answers a call of distress –
a 64 ounce blue puddle of Gatorade,
potential broken hips, sprained ankles, lawsuits –
with his agile mop.

What if this job cannot pay for the growing family
he might one day have? Should he be looking for
a tie kind of job with an office paying salary?

These aren’t his concerns.

He is bringing the cough drops, tissue
packs and flu medications part of an inch
forward on the shelves so achy customers,
lost in their sick bodies, will easily find
their remedy.

I want to call him “Sir”
to show him respect, and ask him,
“In what section, aisle and shelf would I find me?”

Driving Lessons

My father’s Bonneville
came with 3 rules:
No speeding.
Keep the gas half full.
Check for leaks every stop –

“You have to taste it
to know if it’s oil or water.”

Sunday morning, outside
room 8 of the Lake Lodge,
girl still inside, sleeping,

I’m stretching like a satisfied
man does.

There’s a small puddle
by the back left tire.

It wasn’t slippery.
It smelled foul.
I tasted it again.

This is where the cat
came out from under
the car.

I guess to see what
a satisfied man looks like
when he’s tasting piss.

I never told my dad.

He’d have said
I was too stupid to ever
have the car again or
the girl.

The Work Of The Dying

I know this much:
Her name is Helen and
she could die today.
She has no family
in this part of the country.
And the sandwich that has me in
its complete control
is a turkey and Swiss, toasted.

I picked it up from Subway
on the way over.

It’s only 9:55 a.m. and
the sandwich and chips
have to last until the next
volunteer relieves me at 4.

I tell Helen she has fulfilled
her purpose
on this earth and she can feel
good about it.
Everyone will miss her
but they will be alright.

There are no pictures in the room,
just machines that are off now.

I try to unwrap the sandwich
quietly. And resist the chips,
bad choice, too crunchy.
The raisin cookies were the way to go.

I turn away out of respect.

When I‘m finished,
I hold Helen’s hand and
tell her she is doing life’s
hardest work.

Although, I think, waiting
until 4 to eat those chips
isn’t exactly fun and games.