Late Night Ode
It's over, love. Look at me pushing fifty now, Hair like grave-grass growing in both ears, The piles and boggy prostate, the crooked penis, The sour taste of each day's first lie, And that recurrent dream of years ago pulling A swaying bead-chain of moonlight, Of slipping between the cool sheets of dark Along a body like my own, but blameless. What good's my cut-glass conversation now, Now I'm so effortlessly vulgar and sad? You get from life what you can shake from it? For me, it's g and t's all day and CNN. Try the blond boychick lawyer, entry level At eighty grand, who pouts about the overtime, Keeps Evian and a beeper in his locker at the gym, And hash in tinfoil under the office fern. There's your hound from heaven, with buccaneer Curls and perfumed war-paint on his nipples. His answering machine always has room for one more Slurred, embarrassed call from you-know-who. Some nights I've laughed so hard the tears Won't stop. Look at me now. Why now? I long ago gave up pretending to believe Anyone's memory will give as good as it gets. So why these stubborn tears? And why do I dream Almost every night of holding you again, Or at least of diving after you, my long-gone, Through the bruised unbalanced waves?
J. D. McClatchy
J. D. McClatchy was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in 1945.
Date Published: 1991-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/late-night-ode