the man you went with
the man with hair that seemed
to lean toward the past

the man you went with
the man with so much
left in his beard

the man you went with
who got you to laugh
so often at his other language
that seemed entirely

the man with the strange
clear eyes who just shook his head

the man you went with
who taught you to listen
and forget

now I take you in my arms
and he is here with us
I look into his eyes
I reach out to touch his hands

I realize I’ve loved him
all my life.
he’s got a woman with lovely tits
so small and sweet
         he can’t take his hands
out of her blouse

they’re in the Lincoln
         through town, top down
the gangster’s
wearing a bright green shirt
the color of money
                  when it’s happy

the poker game
is as good as won
         sitting at the table
he inhales
         a cigarette
and the smoke
         pours through his nostrils
like a locomotive in heat

when he gets home
he scratches
         his son’s back
in smooth, even strokes
         with his large
sleepy nails

o what happened,
         he wonders,
what happened
                  to the ache
it was supposed to be
to live?