“Public Lewdness”

Let us call our friendship
the brown paper bag
around the bottle
of our love affair,
from which you take shy sips in public,
but gluttonous gulps if left alone.
Hell, you shed my butcher paper
to the gravel floor if you get me alone,
even for less than five seconds.
Kick it beneath the curb, sweetheart.

In dreams of Christian sex
on wedding nights—
bartering virginity
for the right to end your wait;
Enjoy feelings of arching disappointment,
vague and motionless within the act,
but rapidly growing sharp—
as your optometrist asks you to please read
the ninth line down.
May these unceremonious tidings be yours—
as they were mine
on our first date.

I do not feel fond of growing old with you—
or with anyone else, including myself.
I spent my mid-twenties growing old;
spending the last year un-doing these damages
to a reputation I have earned not for things I have done,
but for the things I have left unfinished,
leaning against walls in bedroom closets.

Let us call our friendship
the brown paper bag
around the bottle
of my unfulfilled fantasies;
Dripping in white Christian sex--
and stinking our heaven
in turpentine and crystal resin;
Hanging on wealthy Jewish walls—
with arms outstretched.
My name is signed to every liar.

narrative poem written on 02-22-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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