1. 14 Months
We parked along that long canal
into Pearl Harbor.
I wore pink. Hot pink.
Pink scarf around my hair.
Pink crepe flowers dotted
the lei we'd worked on for weeks,
now nestled in the tug's bow
as it raced to guide the Genesee inside.
The men wore white.
Lines of white swept
across upper deck and lower,
bodies erect, faces forward.
It had been fourteen months, four hundred
twenty-dive days, ten thousand
two-hundred hours since I'd seen him.
Now he was home.
Home from Vietnam.
Home to a brass band.
Home to a shimmering lei.
Home to this pink opening flower,
ready to weep all over his uniform
when he touched me.
Spilt over the lip of Nevermore
spat from the mouth of Shiva,
he appears on my phone.
Himself. Once us. Fellow sailor
who abandoned me to rough seas.
Skin shed for a new one
through GOD's grace, he speaks
of reformed moneychangers,
red-striped zebras, odd colored leopards.
This man, become stranger, talks on
but my own words ricochet.
My mind travels forty nights
into the desert and I shiver,
still hear Marley's chains clank
over the graves of old lovers.
3. Loose Change
It's not like the sonic boom.
Not like a pup's whimper, either.
It's more like the soft sucking erosion
of a riverbank--
gone before you take notice,
or like a back turned
when you least expect it.
It's like the man you want
looking for women 20 years younger now,
Jimmy Choo shoes dangling
from cocksure feet,
their show-off breasts peeking naughtily
at your own used-up fallen ones.
It's knowing you can't ever scoop up the hours
like so much loose change,
your legs spread wide open again,
a flower stuck in your hair,
and a sweet sexy man riding you softly
until you sigh, 'no more'.