The lady has me temporarily off the bottle
and now the pecker stands up better.
however, things change overnight–
instead of listening to Shostakovich and
Mozart through a smeared haze of smoke
the nights change, new complexities:
We drive to Baskin-Robbins, 31 flavors:
Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, Strawberry
Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint…
We park outside and look at ice cream people
a very healthy and satisfied people,
nary a potential suicide in sight
(they probably even vote) and I tell her
“what if the boys saw me go in there? suppose they
find out I’m going in for a walnut peach sundae?”
“Come on, chicken,” she laughs and we go in
and stand with the ice cream people.
none of them are cursing or threatening the clerks.
there seem to be no hangovers or grievances.
I am alarmed at the placid and calm wave
that flows about. I feel like a ***** in a
beauty contest. We finally get our sundaes and
sit in the car and eat them.
I must admit they are quite good. a curious new
world. (all my friends tell me I am looking
better. “you’re looking good, man, we thought you
were going to die there for a while…”)
–those 4,500 dark nights, the jails, the hospitals…
And later that night there is use for the pecker,
use for love, and it is glorious, long and true,
and afterwards we speak of easy things;
our heads by the open window with the moonlight
looking through, we sleep in each other’s arms.
The ice cream people make me feel good,
inside and out.