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

Smörgåsbord

There are many
different
kinds of love

puppy
brotherly
unrequited
passionate
secret
eternal
young
first
true

having oft
indulged in
at least
a smattering
of each morsel
mixing entrées
salads
desserts on
the same plate

I am woefully
unqualified
to distinguish
tasty from savory
overcooked from
underdone yucky
from delectable

still I happily
grab a fresh plate
for another pass

…by the dashboard light?

What was in our youth, mood
lighting for teen romance –
dim, yellowish-orange tinged
spotlight on amateurishly
fumbled front-seat lust

has become, in our middle-aged
driveway rendezvous, moment-
before-we-go-in-from-a-night-out

a weird glow of two blue-hued
Smurfs who now bumble with
seatbelts due not to inexperience –
but for lack of practice and the

confusion of hazily remembered
Gumby-like nostalgia with the
logistical impracticality of now,
coupled with the odd, irrational
fears of inadvertent deployment
of dashboard air bags;

unlikely, yet boast-worthy episode
rendered less useful with no locker
to hang out by, no peers to awe,
chiropractic co-pays in the offing

Now we just kill the engine,
go inside, sit down and watch the
news from opposite ends of the couch