• Small Chances


    “Leave the big things to those who believe they have control and take the small chances at happiness every day.”
    —Gemma Manuel Wesolowski

    he does this all the time,
    my jack does

    paint women
    holding a flute
    of wine
    or a half-smoked

    he once caught me
    gazing out
    of a window
    on yet another
    afternoon of
    pell-mell rain

    the slump of
    my shoulders
    told of an assignation
    that’s ruined

    or here’s a man,
    a woman locked in a
    lover’s embrace

    one holds
    an umbrella
    as though
    this flimsy shield
    is enough protection
    from the gusts of gossip
    of the envious
    or the howls of protests
    from those grown cynical
    about passion

    tell me,

    (not a new stanza)
    what can lessen
    your boredom more?
    to solve the country’s
    financial bankruptcy?
    or its spiritual one?

    return to that puzzle later

    meanwhile, jack,
    roll up the bottoms
    of your trousers once more
    in melancholy
    Prufrock fashion

    let me hitch up my skirt
    for one last tumble
    on the beach
    of our youth’s


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