With Friends, Living and Dead
Among African masks in Verna’s loft
where Ros’s brassy trombone shone
and ornate Venetian candelabrum stood
by the fruit- and cheese-laden board
we sat, and Francis Bacon’s rotting pope
on the wall --a modern Titian’s
Paul the Third -- among a hundred
marks of Brad’s artistic lives,
fat stones or tall on marble counter,
round-topped table, floor,
and photo of him young in a Spanish hat,
dead torero, looking straight out:
Are you there? The darkness around us warmed,
and we were gold in the dark.
On East Nineteenth
In sweaty morning’s
silvery haze, the street
seems all reflections.
Trees blossom clouds
of pale-white petals
by the school’s white walls.
Silver sky bends
into clean windshields
of parked cars. and still-bare
branches braid their windows.
Across glass doors,
to my right, a grayish nondescript
woman walks whom
I would rather not acknowledge.