Friday, February 20, 2015

poem of the day 02.20.15

a most elegant man

a most elegant man is walking behind me
on this cold-as-hell winter morning

he’s got a little snow cap with ear flaps
a thin scarf and a big red beard

he’s keeping pace so that he’s right up my ass
and when i stop on the street, he stops

in new york city this is grounds to commit a murder

but it’s maybe five degrees outside
the wind off the estuary making it worse

i’m carrying ten bags of groceries
five in each hand
and i forgot my goddamned gloves

my fingers look like strands of red pulp
so i couldn’t strangle this man if i wanted to

the guy behind me, he’s got one little bag
and his cell phone

i wish he’d kick it into gear
just pass me or something

when i stop to let him go
he stops to check something on his phone

the wind goes through me like i’m made
of plastic grocery bags

i look back and say, hey, buddy, what the fuck?
but he’s got his earbuds in

i start up again
he starts up again

i can see the apartment building
but it still feels a million miles away
with the wind and this asshole keeping pace

when i get to the door
it makes sense that he lives in the building too

six floors of strangers
living petty little lives

i put the five bags from the one hand in the other
struggle to get out my keys

while the most elegant man waits patiently
for me to unlock the door

i even hold it for him

ten bags and swollen red hands
a smile on my face and murder in my eyes

as the most elegant man passes me

with nary a head nod
or a discreet thank you to boot.

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