Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mike and Me

I meet him in the supermarket today
Janet, the cashier is asking for my discount card
He rants about Bob weighing himself with umbrella in hand.
Mike in yellow tee-shirt, short mustache
ball cap and shorts talks about
keeping the blood pressure down.
I say when I left the condo
where I was on the board the negativity
dropped and so did my heartbeat.

Mike runs his emphysema past me
his take on God, the revolution he expects
will take America, but it will start
over there, China maybe, the East
How the doctor told him he had two years to live
How he went home and threw out two cigarette cartons
And two quarts of tequila, just like that
How he walks 10 miles a day.

I tell him about the dog for sale
The joke about the guru who thought life was a banana
and Mike, a bricklayer in retirement
tells me his roommate can’t stop smoking
the drinks, his veins just bulge with rage.`
How the Jewish neighbor told him to throw
out the Free Range Chicken Broth and only
use sea salt for the boiled chicken.
How swimming in that ocean after work
cleans the chalky residue from the bricks.
off of his arms, his skin.

We shake hands and I tell him I have ice
cream in the shopping bag and milk.
He tells me he listed the five women who work
the supermarket as the most beautiful women in the world.
He says several other women and he puts his hands on his hips
and sticks out his chest to show their indignation
want to know why they aren’t on the list.
He gets a kick out of that.
I am about to tell him the joke about
infrequently as one word or two
but I forget the lines.

Mike and me stand a few seconds
staring into the early morning drizzle
to the wide street beyond the parking lot
One of those good moments when silence
makes the bones cool out.
Two men in the game
running off a little hope
a kick, a laugh or two.
Watching the day scoot on.


At December 2, 2008 at 5:53 AM , Blogger Carole Borges said...

Mike and Me is a very great poem. Your perception as usual is striking and different.


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