You made crusty bread rolls filled with chunks of brie
And minced garlic drizzled with olive oil
And baked them until the brie was bubbly
And we ate them lovingly, our legs coiled
Together under the table. And salmon with dill
And lemon and whole-wheat cous cous
Baked with garlic and fresh ginger, and a hill
Of green beans and carrots roasted with honey and tofu.
It was beautiful, the candles, the linen and silver,
The sun shining down on our northern street,
Me with my hand on your leg. You, my lover,
In your jeans and green T-shirt and beautiful bare feet.
nnHow simple life is. We buy a fish. We are fed.
nnWe sit close to each other, we talk and then we go to bed.


Here by the enormous swimming pool at the Biltmore
Twenty-six young dark-skinned women lie
In tiny bikinis like mermaids on the shore,
And I, bound for Ithaca, just sail on by,
Heading for you, Penelope, to tell the tale,
How that whole Trojan War gave me the willies,
The pointlessness of it, and I set sail,
Having paid off Homer and left Achilles
In his tent, and was lucky to get a favorable wind
And stopped here at the Biltmore to recompute
My course, and found twenty-six dark-skinned
Women, their breasts displayed like fresh fruit.
nnThanks but no thanks. They only want a tan.
nnYou, dear, love a good story. I'm your man.


Christine was the smartest girl in the eleventh grade,
Tall with dark hair tied up in a tight French braid,
The only girl I knew who read Albert Camus,
And for that very reason I did, too.
I stood behind her in choir, a lonesome baritone,
But when I smelled her exotic French cologne
And felt the existential heat of her body,
I became Luciano Pavarotti.
In chorus when I was seventeen
I met the mysterious Christine,
The tall dark girl whom I adored
And when we sang praises to the Lord
nnI gave praise to the back of Christine's head
nnAnd sang to her what never could be said.