Elaine at the Post Office

She wrote a Big Sign
next to her desk:
I WILL NEVER
GIVE YOU MAIL
IF YOU LOST YOUR KEY.
BUY ANOTHER ONE.
IT’S FOUR DOLLARS.
GIVE ME THE MONEY.
I”LL GIVE YOU A KEY.
THAT’S THE ONLY WAY
YOU’LL GET YOUR MAIL.

AS always
I lost the key so I
handed her four dollars.
She handed me the hardware flyer
with my new key.
Have a nice day
she said.

September 11, Once

Used to be

birthday of my favorite

uncle Alex, Lionel Stander

lookalike,  possible secret lover

of Peggy Lee my grandmother used

the word SHANDA she meant

shame  I liked

the word and Peggy Lee and my

glamorous card playing uncle

he was not a lawyer

used to be birthday

of my college boyfriend

Eric unusual linguist

he knew many unexpected words

disciple of Noam Chomsky he might

have been Peggy Lee’s lover

too if he’d been older and had

the opportunity today

used to be a different day altogether

we who get older

we who know and don’t

some of us not all of us

but some of us want

our memories side by side.

 

 

 

B Roll

We all try to describe

what we love

how we love

what happens when

a stranger sat near me

on the Chinese bus to DC

he asked me

to describe who

and what I’ve loved.

I am not

a chronological person

some people go

from young to old

now to then

they know years

and information.

He was a lawyer.

He asked questions they teach

when you become

a journalist

lawyer American Historian

who what where when

parts of a story. I told him

how Mike fell in love

on the telephone and I

loved Mike for that. He wanted

to know how old Mike was had he ever

been married. After a while

he understood my story

was about how Mike’s heart

he could never explain what happened

how Mike’s heart

he worried it was closed because

he couldn’t feel the way he wanted

even though he tried

date after date

Mike’s heart opened

on the telephone by a woman

whose voice went

right through him and he knew

that was what he loved.

Len

That reminds me

Len said last night

apropos of nothing.

He often began

with that reminds me

of when my

oldest brother Pete

decided to marry Helen. Wife

number one. Helen’s family

were Germans and Helen

wanted to be different so

she married Pete. We are

Italian as you know.

You can imagine said Len

who rarely imagined much

You can imagine he repeated

with adamant emphasis

what happened next.

Disaster, he said.

In case we

couldn’t imagine.

 

 

 

August Romula

August Romula, the female

for Romulus he said

although he is not

transgender he said

as though I was

wondering he

called today.

Got my number

from Laura V. I don’t

know her. Who

is Laura V? I didn’t

want to ask him either.

He wanted

to talk about his

Lyme Disease. I can

listen to anything

as long as there aren’t

facts involved.

He said one

of his symptoms

how fixated

he becomes

on particular phrases.

For example, he was

shopping last Wednesday

he saw a sign: Nine

for ninety nine cents.

He said Nine

for ninety nine dollars

would be no better.

Words circulate

in his brain, and

that’s because

he can’t get them out.

Lyme disease

is his diagnosis. Also

Laura V’s.Let’s

meet for a drink

he said. Even

Coffee OK. Not tea.

He doesn’t like tea.

He said he prefers

one glass or two of

red wine. Cabernet

his first choice.

He gave me three

telephone numbers

where I can reach him

when I decide

I’m ready for

My free drink

%d bloggers like this: