My favorite psychiatrist,
R.B.B. B. Sigmund Down—
One of 14 unusual persons whom I paid, albeit with insurance, $262 per futile hour—
Told me once that girls who are bold enough to ask guys out on dates
(And are told, yes, they have the dates)
Immediately envision the silverware and the place settings and the wine glasses
At the receptions of their weddings,
And isn’t that as absurd as a three act play by Samuel Beckett?
I did not envision the plates and saucers and rice and limousines at our wedding,
I envisioned only our facing each other,
While handcuffed at our wrists and almost kissing for 42 kind hours,
And I envisioned us under 12 peach trees at 11 in the morning,
And I envisioned us walking pleasant hills like Sisyphus while laughing,
But that is all.
In my curious mind, I have silently screamed for you
Every Wednesday evening at our coffee club for 15 months now,
But you did not notice me for 14,
And in the latter part of my brief and transparent life—
Punctuated by insanity, swells of 12 oceans and God—
I have sometimes been knocked onto my back, and sometimes I have asked for redemption.
You were going to complement me,
And I swear you are not Jodie Foster, nor am I now mad.
All this has puffed away like so many cirrus clouds,
After I figured out that you lied to me,
Because you could not bear to hurt my fleeting, fickle feelings.
Four years ago, I would have drunk six shots of vodka at a pub in Dublin,
And fallen into a trashcan and puked on myself in a 48-hour blackout.
Now I eat strawberries and Cheerios, hoping for lollipops after dinner.
It is January 31, 2012.
There are a thousand little birds flying past the big window of my 14th-story mew,
Which faces south-southwest toward a pleasant, round sun,
And I eat chocolate bars now, watching on Turner Classics old, 1950s love films
In which women tempt innocently and men are not vulnerable but are in charge.
Later tonight at midnight, I shall say prayers as if a Jesuit priest,
And I shall sleep, and I shall dream on the two cherry milkshakes
Which were meant for us at Bob and Edith’s diner,
But, God damn it, I shall never order them.