A Beautiful Boyish Insouciance

Stephanie Berger

Everything tough was a nail & that 
was it before the flood came. Remember 
that time I had my aura read in the street 
on a sunny fall day & it was a pool of 
silver & lavender & turquoise & the woman
hugged me & I gave her a cigarette?
That was this morning. Do you remember 
the morning? Vitriol & violets. Football & waiting
& screaming for our eggs. Losing the cargo, 
the slippage, the impersonated planet 
became tame. I have never ever been. We’ve 
never. & I can’t keep sipping on the sip cup.
You can’t keep me in the slips like this!
You can’t keep me there & there, mounted 
like a flame her delight in the dream 
of possessing this man. It promenaded 
straight without care into the domain of beauty,
which does not sleep, but lies awake at night
dreaming with eyes open. Those eyes.
When she chose, she could flood them 
with languors, sublimate Paris 
into a tropic frame, wet, trenchant, 
bellicose, pugnacious, but never
frowzy. The melting measures proceeded & 
the ice in her stare gave way to steam. 
It was as if she had dropped a curtain. 
My body holds a heart that cannot love.
It holds another heart that cannot help 
but love. They are conjoined 
twins. & all in black. Nothing 
but a pernicious diseased animal,
I want to fuck you with the most engorged 
part of my soul, put it inside you, I am 
the man here, cerebral & happy,
bad & abroad, bored & supportive,
watching these women, who are always
walking by in their bodies, but I hate 
to boil it down to oversimplification. 
I would love to be focused, honest, 
& hardworking. I can’t go on a date 
with you. Not today. I am too far away 
from the planet. Excuses fly like 
birds, & I saw them flying in your eyes. 
Literally. You stared into my eyes 
& I saw birds. But it’s not like it was 
an intensely emotional experience.
It was a nice morning.