I would fight for a woman
Like Patton with a .38 caliber pistol in World War II
Or a Spartan king.
I lie like this because of the questions you ask.
Don’t smile at me;
I might snort cocaine like Sigmund Freud
Or take quaaludes.
Tell me about your daughter’s debts
And your rotten, rotten job.
I will think sordidly while we eat chocolates,
And I will try to compose in my mind
A serious poem about the economy.
Then I’ll fend off dreams of the mortal sins
Which I was taught to confess in childhood.
We will watch “Miller’s Crossing,”
And we will watch reruns of the “Johnny Carson Show.”
I will not speak because I am not Humphrey Bogart.
In the end you will tell me to go,
And I will take my tattered coat
From the hook and leave.
Alone, I shall curse an inscrutable moon,
And I shall reach into my brown pockets
For some empty and crinkling packets of bonbons.
By 3:24 a.m. I will be home,
Thinking that today I should vacuum my apartment.