for Jason

"Not gulls, girls." You frown, and you insist—
Between two languages, you work at words
(R's and L's, it's hard to get them right.)
We watch the heavens' flotsam:  garbage-white
Above the island dump (just out of sight),
Dirty, common, greedy—only birds.
OK, I acquiesce, too tired to banter.

Somehow they're not the same, though. See, they rise
As though we glimpsed them through a torn disguise—
Spellbound maidens, wild in flight, forsaken—
Some metamorphosis that Ovid missed,
With their pale breasts, their almost human cries.
So maybe it is I who am mistaken;
But you have changed them. You are the enchanter.

Related Poems

In the Girls' Room

I saw them making out, Sheila whispers
from the stall next to mine. We're standing,
hidden from each other on opposite sides 
of the same cold wall. I imagine
her brother's hand surprising itself
inside some girl's sweater, small hairs jittery
along the map of her neck. Her eyes were shut.
I open mine wide, lean closer.
She was making small noises, like a bird.
I form my mouth into an 0, press my lips
against the door. He was licking her ear.
The bow of my breath lingers, 
then disappears, I hate the ordinary 
boredom of my life, my cotton underpants, 
the sharp question of each hipbone. Hey, 
she says, knocking on the wall.
I play with the lock, spitting its silver tongue 
into the waiting mouth of the door.
What's your secret?