To Assert One's Intimacy
After Loss of Rhetorical Connectives
The fog city crumbled as I sat by a salt-blurred classroom window,
dazed by button-up skirts, button-down blouses, and orange juice eyes.
We sat at the airport's cafes in high school letterman jackets
and failed to pick up split-faced, bruised runaway girls.
At Wyatt Earp's grave in Colma's Jewish cemetery,
someone kept leaving yellowed Wells Fargo bank envelopes.
The junior college broomed me out six weeks into my absences.
Miss San Mateo County stopped seeing me for skin-nights,
The problem with you is that you don't even know
what a resume is. I was reading Henry Miller that month.
The craic was good in the Irish bars on Geary Street,
but the left-over 2 a.m. girls had thick Cork ankles.
The rental houses at the beach, built against each other's
thin stucco, shook with the cold... and I felt gone from myself.
I will not wear black lace, I will not wear black lace,
the girl who moved in said. No more fucking black lace.
The girl who moved in had changed her name to Ancient Love.
What Ancie's name was in her black lace days was never revealed.
At Wyatt Earp's grave, tourists left behind Roy Rogers pistols,
half-gnawed strips of beef jerky, drained cough medicine bottles.
From Earp's grave you could watch jets take off and land at the airport.
You could listen to sad trumpets from the nearby Chinese cemetery.
The college said I could return if I was open to being educated.
The dean's nose hairs dripped sweat and snot on his mustache.
All I want to learn, I admitted to the dean, is how to write love poems
that tabloids will publish under pictures of Bardot, Liz, and Monroe.