(a previous version of this poem was included in The Breakup Poems, a collection ps pirro published in 2017) Preppers It took so much longer than anyone expected, by the time it happened we'd nearly forgotten, our children are old now, and theirs older still. I remember that fortune inside that cookie, be like water it said, and you tore it in two, because who has that kind of time? The soles of your boots have worn away at the place where the weight of the world meets the road that carried us here. All those footsteps, all that leather, all those people we used to be, they cling like shadows and hide when we turn. Did you ever think, I ask, and no, you say, you never did, and we blink like mole people, emerging from darkness, blind in the light. Both of us knowing we got it all wrong, you with your gun, me with my bowl, you with no bullets, me with no spoon. Daylight Savings I spent the night with Leonard Cohen we were birds on a wire, we were drunks in a midnight choir. We lost sleep but saved the daylight, it was springtime, we were so high. We were coins tossed beneath a concrete bridge, a fire burning in an oil drum, we stumbled through the deep hours, losing one to foolish whim, six months will pass before we find it again, In the glint of a new-rising sun we took the uptown train from Manhattan to Berlin, there was music on Clinton Street and you looked so much older your raincoat hardly famous at all, just misty now like the faded morning sky. Come home with me Leonard and I will do unto you what you have done unto others I will tie you to my kitchen chair, and keep for myself a lock of your hair and feed you tea and oranges that came all the way from China, and pour myself like honey into this daylight we have saved, you, and I. I Was One of Those I would have fallen for you had the geography been right, and the decades, even though it took another woman to sing your song, and others still pierce your heart, and you had a type and I was not it, the fates would not align, and (even though) I could not comprehend the tales you told or the cadence like a missed step in your poetry, still, I was one of those. I found you on a shelf in the used bookstore, dark eyes full of something like soul, or desire, I saw you in the face of my high school crush who could have been your kin, so much your image, but he too, loved another, and died on prom night, a pixilated photograph of his mutilated automobile on the front page (below the fold, have mercy) the following day. We can be selfish in our poems, this I learned from you, our stories tipping like drunks in search of solace, I clipped the photograph, tucked it away in a drawer, told myself (and no one else) that had he taken me to that dance we would have taken a different road, and he might have lived to discover how good he looked at 60 in a rakish fedora and a well-cut suit.
ps pirro lives in a place by the river and blogs with some infrequency at pspirro.com