From Here to Less Certainty

A day at the beach
we have been here before;

I am trying to be
Burt Lancaster
as you hesitate to play
Deborah Kerr with
self-conscious protestations
I have heard many times

But today the kids are
not with us, the friends who
we accompany sit engrossed
in their sun-worshipping,
paperbacks, inflatable-floating

oblivious to us and not
burning with our middle-aged
or any other sort of passion

my long smoldering fantasy
plays a recurring loop in
my mind’s eye always,
not oddly, in pristine
black-and-white

admittedly I have never had
Burt’s shoulders, jaw line,
hair, stature
I have tried vainly to
master his presence,
make it my own, yet
sadly cannot stand
and drip water on you
with marquee panache

you lay on your towel
my attempts to entice you
to join me once, just one
time, in a sandy embrace
while the gentle surf
plops meekly upon the shore
are warily deflected

It then occurs to me your
reticence might be overcome
by bigger, bolder surf
or more unique idea

but I am what I am

as I sit on the warm sand
I wonder if crashing waves
really would set your heart
pounding or if I should
just let the tide go out

Mark Lucker

Restraint

I burn for you.

Remembering school
hallway posters
advising when in flames,
stop, drop, roll.

Subconsciously heeding
long suppressed
laminated pictograms
I have resisted the urge
to do the safe thing
whenever you walk in as

my resulting floor gyrations
would lack the panache to
qualify as a mating dance
ala National Geographic

Still, I burn for you.

Reading each other

She is reclining,
reading
on bed or couch;
on her side,
jean-clad legs in
fetal curl,
head propped up
on cocked, sensual
elbow, other hand
holding the book
her eyes flitting
through her fiction

sometimes she is on
her back, nestled in
pillows, engrossed,
both hands grasping
stomach-resting book
bare feet crossed
at the ankles

I sit on the edge of
couch, bed
casually, gently run a
single finger across
her t-shirt clad
midsection in gentle
sawing motion,
poking; outlining
so I pointedly, gently
tell her every time

is just where the staples
would be located
in her centerfold shot

should be so inclined
to ever pose for one

She always nods in a
way that only being
together for twenty years
can acknowledge both
my attraction, and her
starring role in my elusive,
creative daydreaming.

She smiles, and we
continue reading