“Upstairs Elk”

There’s an elk living upstairs.
I can tell by the lumbering.
Hard-crusted hooves
crash against the straining floor,
drunk, ungainly; 
I’m sure his thighs —
they ripple with fat-stores
as he smashes from room to room,
not sure why he’s there.

Still…

when he makes love,
grunts around each night
mounts the elk-lette,
even his strange body
fades into power

and little elks.

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Drinks

I studied the bar for possible moods — 
what was the one I felt yesterday,
right after the Manhattan?
Was that CareFreeMelancholy?
or CitySad
mixed with WindSweptLoneliness?
WoeIsMe?

No. Wait.

I sent that 
first one back, 
got a TallBud
and rode AwesomeConvo
and his wingman,
BroLove
into the land of 
FuckAin’tItSolid!

Or was that
the AMF?

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“Better”

“You want me to stay?”

The beginning
that unfolds to an end
I won’t like.

Kill that tale now, 
before it becomes our story.

“No. But thank you.”

“Really?” he says,
eyebrows newly engaged,
the way they rose before,
before this had to mean.

“Yes.”

Then he kissed my hand
like a man does a magistrate.
Got dressed fast —
maybe I’d change my mind.
One last glance back

as we began 
better.

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Upon Seeing the Hollywood Sign

“Did you ever notice,”
Tate asks as he pulls down his shorts,
“that when they ask,
‘What’s your dream?’
like they do in that stupid movie —”
he turns around to face the tall white letters —
“about the prostitute with a heart of gold —
what was it?  Oh, yeah, Pretty Woman —
that they never —
camera ready?”

I say yes, the camera is ready.

Tate opens wide his arms to The Sign,
hefted cheeks glistening, reflecting the sun,
flexing newfound freedom, a bounce…

“ — really let you choose 
off-menu?”

The phone makes the sound cameras make,
a sharp click, as if something real just happened.

“Know what I mean?”
he asks as he pulls up his lucky shorts.

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“Browsing”

Library of Memory,
finger on the spines
that hold together
me.

Oh, I do not like this book!
(Though I’ve read it a thousand times.)
I was too young to understand.
How was I to know?
(I knew.)
One night
sags the shelf
that ought to be
in the Restricted Section
(like the old days, when you had to ask
for the books with drawings).
These spines are warped.
Horrible!

I move on. 
My, this one is beautiful.
Just look at its golden cover:
“Full of greeting cards and fairy tales.”
Here, I learn right from wrong
and begin to build My Best Self.
Things work out in this book
(just like a Hollywood movie).
Grandma really likes it.
I really should read it someday.

But they said I could take out only one.
Maybe this one? Bright and Sunny Days?
And there are other rooms,
futures I’ve never visited,
a place for faith. Philosophy.
I really should…

as I bow my head,
reach for Mistakes
and turn to you.

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“Parking”

“You should call security.
These homeless people.”

     But there was something else,
     some bit of sadness —

“...always think it’s tragic
when I’m the one paying rent...”

     — behind still-hopeful eyes,
     as a silly heart-shaped balloon 
     floated forward, started to sag.

“in our building? Was he good looking?”

What?

His eyes shut mine
against the breach.
So much to give
as you focus parts,
abs and arms alone,
always.
But those weighted lips,
like waves,
carried dreams

until they reached my shore..

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Faustus Possessed

He didn’t give me his name.
Just a question:
“Are you sure?”

And as I quivered,
arched a vibrating spine,
thought “no contract 
would be legal now,
you have to be sane,
prostate unfluttered,
bliss-less” — 

You don’t even know
who he is!
(Every safe voice.)
I do.
He is Unseen.
Unbodied mechanic.
Quantum god or prisoner,
jinni or egrḗgoroi
angel-demon
foreign-world
alien — 

because, really — 

Oh, my god!
“Yes!”

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