Once a minstrel,
I, like Cleopatra’s lover,
Aspired for you
At the coffee club on Sunday night;
Invisible as the air,
Alternating merciless and cruel
At minus 26 degrees
Above the Alaskan tundra—
Neither considered me nor arrived.
Now I am left with old tea and oranges,
Watching love stories from the 1950s
On my plastic flat-screen TV.
You have defeated me
And my sad songs.
I suppose I am to be the American hero,
And declare that I am unvanquished.
I suppose I should talk
Of phoenixes and the advantages
Of other sublime nymphs and lovers.
I shall not.
I shall wait this Wednesday
At yet another coffee club—
Beaten and frayed—
Hoping to ask you to dance.
As if just handcuffed
By a fat rent-a-cop at the mall,
Shall say nothing,
Or perhaps I shall ask meekly, pathetically:
“How did your day go?”
A light but loud Johann Strauss II waltz will play,
And I shall take a chair by the wall,
Wishing for nirvana
Or one more cup of stupid, stupid coffee.