NOW THAT I’VE MADE IT HERE
Pink sheets of pleasure
open like petals,
float across bare knees.
My head adrift in pillow,
yours warming my naked chest,
serenity keeps us in mind
for moments like this.
I taste the wine of the results,
mouth the word “heaven”
to the lingering desire.
Can a moment be too iridescent?
Can it overtake, become the all-over mood?
I’ve heard that too much of a good thing
is as toxic as belladonna berries.
So if I grow too happy,
can sadness be my only cure?
If I have everything,
should I hold out for nothing?
They’d have me pray for an ache or two
to worry my smugness.
Or a lightning strike, an earthquake,
anything to singe or rumble
So have I need of disappointment, upset,
unwanted intrusion, disaster, grief, bitterness,
sickness, anger, disgrace, dementia or dread?
Quite frankly, no.
But thanks for never asking.
Her apartment doesn’t pull rank.
It’s on the ground floor
hut, from what I’ve seen of it,
it’s no bigger, no smaller,
than mine at the top of the stairs.
She always complains
that she has no one to help her
and the handymen she hires
to fix a leaking tap.
to patch dry wall,
charge prices near to extortion.
I’m always cleaning, she says.
And when I’m done,
it’s time to start over.
She’s always up when I come home,
no matter the time of night.
And she leaves her door open.
The doings of her tenants
are her only joy.
Her couch is where she collapses
at the end of another tiring day.
Her favorite programs
keep watch over her
as she eats whatever’s handy
from crackers and cheese
to frosting straight from the can.
on my way downstairs
I catch a glimpse of her
in the parlor, munching on potato chips.
the crumbs sticking to her robe like lint.
She sees me, says “this is the first chance
I’ve had to sit down all day.”
Her eyes are red, her moustache brown.
The blue glow of the television
unmasks her double chin.
You’re comfortable in those jeans,
faded blue, coffee stained,
ragged at the knees,
frayed at the ankles.
You figure you can get
another year out of them at least.
It’s different with men.
When the shininess wears off,
there’s nothing keeping you
from tossing them in the garbage.
Not that you’re delusional.
You follow the abrading, tattering,
of your face, your body,
in the mirror.
You wear the inevitable well
but how many more years
do you give it?
And those men,
picking themselves up out
of the breakfast scraps
and stumbling for the door…
how long before you whisper
that dreaded word, “Stay.”
But, for now, those jeans
make for a body-hugging denim comfort zone.
They slip over your knees, your hips.
And they don’t give you away.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.