Jamie Bruno


Yeah, hey, you could be right.
                         What do I know?

Maybe the universe goes on and on
And never ends.
                         If you went far enough,
You'd run across a planet just like ours
Where you and I are standing by the grill
Melting butter for the asparagus.

Damn--this steak, it's been tenderized too long.

What do you care?
                         You didn't pay for it.

In any case, you travel far enough,
You'll get to a world where the steak's done right.

Go a ways farther, you might even find
A world where Cathy chose to stay with me,
She never even met that smarmy douche,
No charges filed, nobody hurt--and Jen
And little Bill, they're both asleep upstairs
By now, my boy is not a nervous wreck
Who won't say boo if you threatened his life
And Jen, she never had that fight with me
(Did I tell you what she told me last week?

"I hope you get run over by a car
And die."
                         That's word for word, God's honest truth;
As if she'd stayed up half the night for days
To think up how to get under my skin.)

But across that infinite universe,
Way way across, where the good planet is,
With a good steak that doesn't fall apart
As you take it off the grill--use the tongs,
That fork won't work--I didn't make mistakes
And didn't hit the bottle quite so hard
Or sobered up in time to make things work
And Cathy never slept around on me
Even with the ski instructor, the Czech;
Good planet's Cathy told him to buzz off
So that the good me never got blind drunk
And woke up in the bathtub in his shorts
Wondering just how many days had passed
And how I could get my hands on the bitch.

Makes you think, doesn't it?
                         Maybe that me
Always zigged when I zagged, got that degree,
Maybe a lawyer now--but real honest;
Maybe he never met Cathy at all
But an environmental lobbyist
Who's gonna save the world and me with it
So Bill and Jen don't have a hateful mom
Or (what the hell?) an alcoholic dad.

You know what?
                         The good planet is out there.

No, I believe it is, just as I said,
And my whole life has been a sacrifice
To him, so he can look at me and say,
"There but for the grace of God" and so forth
At the other end of the telescope.

And I gotta tell ya, it's fine by me;
I'll sit here on Earth and cheer him on
And may it do the lucky bastard good.

Jamie Bruno is the Producing Artistic Director of the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival. His work has appeared previously in Niederngasse AND Stirring.

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