Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer poem #2

The couple painting the next-door apartment knocks off
at two AM, squalling out the door, disrupting
the ambiguous domestic scene of them painting
through midnight, with all the windows open.

She has tattoos on her upper arms.
When the pizza guy came, she called back
into the place, "Do you want lemonade
or ginger ale?" I take it on faith he answered
and his answer balances her
tattoos: She has tattoos
on her upper arms, and he has an opinion
about whether he wants lemonade
or ginger ale. Both of them have masks
for painting, both of them wake me up
with raised voices on the way out,

and I imagine it is me
with my father for the last time
before the things we have in common
compel us to mutual silence:

"Why are so many easy things
not easy? Why is it that for a thing
to not be easy requires a sort of whole-world
involvement, a weighing and comparison?"

They are making some sort of decision,
carrying paint cans that will never
say "thank you" or wash dishes. Their hands full,
an almost-empty pizza box thuds
on the porch. He says, "Are you going
to eat the last piece?"

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