Sunday, September 26, 2010

Second Date (poem)

I arrived on your porch,
hair plastered with humidity,
with the downpour of rain
caressing my umbrella
and you turned on
the Red Sox, playing
in the Bronx, sound off, eerie
cheering fans, mouths open, muted,
silent. Unlike us. Chatting
with ease about the game,
how God is
a Yankees fan, laughing
at slingshot jokes. Then
you cook for me, ask me, “Fork
or chop sticks?” and I take
the metal in my palm,
balance my wine glass
in the light clutch of fingers
and talk incessantly
while you stare through your glass
table at my socked foot,
stare intently at my hands
as they move to demonstrate
nothing, interrupt me to say
my nails are painted the color
of our wine. I smile, pleased
you noticed. We amble
to the couch to do what
we’d planned, but here’s
where things go awry.
The technology fails us,
and as you hover, disc and remote
in hand, your roommate returns,
casual and oblivious.
You’re frustrated; I see that.
But I find it funny
that a techie like you
can’t make his DVD player
play. And now our party
is stunted and growing
in number. You’re aggravated;
you say so. But you pull
videos off the shelf and operate
on Plan B. Back on the couch,
in the dark, we’re bookends
on opposite sides, with our feet
pressed together, simply, affectionately,
comfortably. You tell me
I’ll like this movie because
I like to laugh. You noticed.
I smile again. We’re synchronized.
Your roommate joins us,
but only for a few scenes, and then
he disappears to get enough
sleep for his new job
at Starbucks. You and I remain
polar opposites, twisted
on the couch, ready for sleep,
but not with each other.
Your eyes start to close
during the second movie,
and I opt for home at 1:30 AM.
You drive me. You’re disappointed.
I know. Things were broken
tonight. But I came home happy,
remembering the rain,
remembering the night.

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