Small Chances

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“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
ciggy

he once caught me
gazing out
of a window
on yet another
afternoon of
uncalled-for
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
yesteryears

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