Hello is So Much Easier
I'm the type of person no one hugs
goodbye, and even when they do,
I tense up, body stiff as an old log
waiting for someone else to start
a fire- handshakes are difficult too,
cold sweaty palms uncomfortable
in the warmth other people seem
to carry around in their pockets.
Remember those 1970’s game show hosts,
how they groped and kissed
every female contestant? I know
it was televised sexual harassment,
but they had charisma, confidence
behind those unwanted touches,
and that burns me.
Rejected “New Yorker” Poem
Asleep in an envelope,
but sealed tight
so it’s more like a coffin,
slowing natural rot
(always a failure),
corpse hands protected
from curious eyes (not
as special as you think).
Actually, it reminds me more
of my cousin (related by marriage),
who used to send
his fingernail clippings
except for an argument
then water drains
into stained pot
through grains in a filter,
made for one
who arrived late,
spilled an entire cup
onto a homesick lap-
his swearing wasted,
as only the manager listens to complaints.
The first few minutes are the best
for forgetting the fight until she wakes up,
goes to the bathroom, and toilet flush
reminds him he pissed his pants.
He’s hungover again, eyes feel empty,
brain stutters commands, tongue
tries to obey, but is too comfortable
lazing in their uncomfortable silence.
Coffee helps, makes her put clothes back on,
while their unmade bed stays quiet
as a dejected lover, who wore lingerie
when all he wanted was another six-pack.