I may sit down one night and die.
I may sit in a big green chair with a glass of water in one hand and a pencil
in the other
and leave this world.
You may not be in the room and the heart might not be the thing to turn
but I will still feel you the way I felt you when I walked up Lafayette Street
with my shirt blowing in the late May wind
while I sang four lines of one song backwards
and thought about the whispering creek I used to hop
when I was a six year old boy
chasing the first girl I ever fell in love with
through the trees on her family’s woods.
Her name was Deborah and the only time I ever kissed her she was
and a great mass of purple cheeks begging me not to stop
because I was a famous man.
And tonight I am not Moses or Charlton Heston
or even a Greek boy named Nicko.
I am just Matthew in my mother’s house
feeling born out of a bottle of green t-shirts I have stitched myself
through the avenues of the evening
and the pressures of lilacs
as they push up against the sides of my calf
while I walk these miles through the sea and otherwise.
I am just Matthew and this is not my night to die,
to sit down with a glass of water in one hand and pencil in the other
without you here.
You are here
and I have found you after a long road through an apple orchard in
the middle of Iowa
on the most green and yellow late May afternoon a hundred million
when you pulled down your pants to offer me something so small
that the second I heard your name, Deborah,
I knew the trouble had been given to me to be stripped.
So tonight in the calm caves of my mother’s home
I have a piece of you in me
while the lilac pushes up against the side of my leg
as I sit in this solid oak chair
and listen to the large city sing its own song
to the ambulance horns and fire engines that have long since taken their