Literalists

“I would slay a dragon for you!”
said he from out of the blue
his lilting voice a hopeful
spontaneous, off-hand musing
had him hoping for more
as she looked up from her
paperback mystery romance

“There are no dragons”
she stated flatly, perplexed
as he quietly sighed, continued
reading yesterday’s newspaper

Oath of June

“Do you solemnly swear
to tell the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth?”

“I do.”

“You may now kiss the bride.
Liar.”

Like son, like father

The daughter of close friends
looks at my son like that

they have known each other
since first grade – a time when
looking at each other like that
would have been unthinkable;
icky, gross…dis-GUS-ting!

Now she looks at him like that

When I first noticed her looking
his obliviousness was a comfort
but now he looks like that
at someone else, still clueless

I remember the summer I was
fifteen, noticing for the first time
looks like that directed at me…

thought were aimed at me
until late July’s heat removed all
ambiguity, before summer escaped

He doesn’t yet realize but it’s the
un-auditioned for role-of-a-lifetime
the chance for a starring turn
as someone else’s first love

Outside the lines

You opened me like a book
thumbed through the pages
of boldly outlined pictures
mercurially finding one you

chose your weapon from
boxed arsenal; a sharp one,
new to the point and unused

you are the 64-box of Crayola’s
using all the colors of you to
flesh out the person that is me
the picture that became us

showing all the restraint of a
four-year old for boundaries
the flair of Matisse for nuance
you have always boldly, blithely
refused to color inside the lines

and I like that way.

Antipasto!

Dinner with my Valentine;
wine and Sinatra
Fine haiku-be-do-be-do…

Mental matinee

Less frequently but with far more
purpose, much sharper focus than
my younger, more myopic days

my workday mind meanders from
the daily mundane to stray to
tantalizing, sometimes R-rated
thoughts, possibilities for later

cerebral erotica starring my oh-so-
vixenish-after-twenty-years wife

My mind’s eye squints to concentrate
on the unfolding cinematic epic in my
head when I abruptly utter aloud a
wariness to ‘still be able to do that’
to the quizzical stare of a co-worker

While my mind goes where it always
has, reality makes a bar-close hook-up
with regrettably lowered expectations

shorthand

text wife: ‘Dory?’ It
cannot also be ‘hunky’
as I am elsewhere

“…yon window breaks”

Light tumbles from her window
staining the grass below; elongated
rectangle of bright green in the night
a trap-door of illumination I want
to step on, fall through, down;
down into the dusty cellar
where she waits by
that light.

D-M-V (Love is… #30)

Love is a driver’s license photo

You know who the person in
the picture is – sort of, maybe

you think it is you – your glazed
eye, mug-shot provenance
makes even you double-check

triple-check yourself in the
mirror the morning after

facial expression defying
logical description;
contorted hybrid of happiness
and electrocution-by-chair

It was no innocuous clerk
that issued you this credential,
telling you with mock-courtesy to
have a good day, thank you

you walk away from the counter
new credential proof of who/what,
there are no retakes here

approval from the Department of
Misanthropic vehicles

Salonica, goneica

She loves me, she loves me not

Played that game as a kid, for fun
with and without the flower,
played it frequently later, for keeps

Won once or twice

I have over picked my life’s quota
of prophetic daisies, come out
on either side of the nursery rhyme

sometimes the right verse, wrong time

It blossomed, it went to seed
It blossomed, it went to seed
It blossomed, it went to seed

Same song, rarely heard second verse