TALES OF LOVE
A day without enough money for water, or parking meter, or card of apology. No credit at the local convenience. I walk thirsty until the green door leads to an imagined space. Branches of a mulberry tree force their way through stained-glass windows, as if sprung from a fountain of youth. By the time I see her again she's completely forgiven my most egregious acts. Night falls, pure as a wind chime.
I pass by a number of our old haunts. Who knows what rare volume I sold in order to afford lunch there, the one by the waterfront: Ovid, the signed Montale, Dante in Japanese? That's where I took her after surgery for the mole she wanted removed from her buttock. Held her hand, when the doctor, with all that lace & flesh staring him in the face, let the black mark fall off the scalpel. Shrunken, once removed, he had trouble finding it among sterile sheets. A few half-pirouettes later he found it, on the office operating table. But not before checking the rippled soles of both his shoes. Back at the waterhole, she too, had an unblemished record.
Her difficulty is with idleness. There, bending over a bucket of wretched cleanser. Floors, thresholds, toilets, a dungareed Cinderella turned bumblebee hovering above clover. Now she's wrapping two weeks of newspapers. Trouble in the Middle East tied up with Spiderman scaling the United Nations Building, her own diplomacy never ending.