Chivalry

Drive past a late summer match on a blue tennis court under shade
of a park’s greenest trees. Green shadows on a tennis court
of bluest blue, where young plays old, old plays young,
before it maybe happens, a quiet game elsewhere,
in other shadows, meshes of the afternoon, not hard fought
on either side really, since it’s nothing, nobody for keeps.

Photobomb

I want to mischievously send you a photo of you as you were
long ago. When I knew you. When I so much more
than knew you. It will come out of the personal blue,
from a bogeyman’s slingshot, a shot in the dark, an idiom
which admits the dark has agency, weird intent,
as I had for you, and you intense for me. Once.
Once isn’t the right word for something that happened
so many times, but it will haunt and have to do,
and it strikes just the right note of an asshole ghost.

Her Husband, Who Lives in Bars

A spaniel runs through a field
of wildflowers, purple, white lace and goldenrod,
and it is nobody’s dog
and doesn’t even know it is Tuesday
or that it is now called “missing,”
though it intends to return
to the arms of the one it loves,
and plant a sloppy kiss
on an angry mouth,

the dog solution to everything.

Houses Set Too Close Together

Why worry about the neighbor
who is a stranger
with a stranger’s life
and, besides, too young to know better.
I guess because I hear him scream
in the night, usually
at his wife, but sometimes
louder, the universe.
He had a hobbled foot one week.
I saw him on a crutch.
This week, it’s a weird white X,
some sort of tape, over one
of his eyes. He looks like a dead cartoon.
I think it’s the left one. He looks sad
as the misunderstood kid on the playground.
The one who goes home in the police cruiser
at thirteen or even younger.
He’s young but not really handsome,
but he has those melting expressions
I imagine certain women like. Too much.
He can often be heard
threatening his landlord on the phone
as he paces his front porch.
Sometimes it’s his ex and baby mama. I don’t think
he’s a bad sort. Just dangerous
to himself and, possibly, others.
You can’t live at your wit’s end,
not even if you’re twenty-six.
Maybe he needs to get some kicks.
He’s not stupid. I’ve heard him talk.
But, from what I can tell,
he’s ninety percent rage, ten percent
sage. And prison is full
of armed philosophers like that.
I get the impression that without women
he’d be nothing. Well, we all had a mother.
But you know what I mean. They’re his dangerous
and too-close support network. I know because I’ve heard
her yell too. It can get to be a bit of a zoo.
I know his only plan for the coming winter,
despite the crunch of poverty
and numerous wolves at the door,
is another tattoo. And, after that,
to show it off.