Friday, September 5, 2014

poem of the day 09.05.14

margaret in 5G

took me for a potential rapist
in the laundry room
once when i was trying to wash
my stained underwear

now, she’s rapping on my door with her cane
because she can’t get her ass
back up to her own apartment
with both elevators broken in this place

my how the tides have turned, i think
sipping on the first of many wines

but i get up to help margaret anyway
because vindictiveness is not all
that it’s cracked up to be

she’s sweat-soaked and confused in the lobby

she says, it’s so hot
i tell her that’s because she’s wearing a jacket
in ninety-degree heat

she’s like a hunchback walking around in circles
dazed and confused on a wednesday night

i hope to christ that i never get this old and helpless
that i’ll have courage to throw myself
in the east river if i can’t even get in my front door

margaret says, grab my bags, will you?

she smacks a sack of barnes and noble bags with that cane
and i grab them all like we’re both coming home
from a day of shopping in the city

margaret says, get behind me, god damn it
so i don’t fall

and for five flights i’m on her like i’m lester hayes
as we take one step at a time
in the sweltering sludge of this dying summer

the trim and the fit
are racing up and down the steps

a few look and shake their heads
either at margaret or at me

they are the new breed in this building and i despise them all

by the fifth floor i feel like shit
i can smell that glass of wine coming through
my nostrils and my pores

margaret still has that jacket on
she’s a stream of sweat and damp hair
and i wonder how in the hell she’s still doing it

she says, put my bags by the door
so i do

then i come back over to get her
but she waves me away

margaret says, you want anything for doing this?
like a drink or some money?

i tell her no and then introduce myself
so that maybe next time in the laundry room
we can both just fold our sheets instead of hurling accusations

then head back down the stairs
it’s much easier this way

i pass some jack ass
kicking at the stalled elevator door

he’s forty years younger than margaret
and i got about fifteen on him

he sighs and grunts
tells me how this is a bunch of bullshit

then he goes back to manically pressing buttons
smacking his head against the door
praying, betting on the fountain of youth
to get him there.


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