Heads bowed into winter rain,
we tramped across the Village
to a Korean bodega for chiles
and tortillas, tequila and limes.
Arm in arm we splashed
through the neighborhood,
my Loisaida girl and I.
It was our season of bilingual
wordplays, when you teased Poggi
at the hotel revolving door
by calling him oggi, Italian for
today, the only day that counted
for two lovers spinning ‘round
the axis of right now
in a wedge of whooshing kismet.
Fifth floor walk-up packed
with friends – I’m chopping salsa
while you pour frothy margaritas.
Was that the night Mark
did his funny mouth thing
in the gay bar by the little park?
Following you up the ladder
by the fridge to the sleeping loft,
oh long-legged temptress, your freckles
the stars by which I navigate
this uncharted territory, your easy
mocking laughter my siren song
above the lulling waves of Tracy Thorn
on a distant shore, head in her hands,
singing so keep your love and
I’ll keep mine. Morning, bright sunshine,
walking south into the new day,
to Canal Street to buy acrylics
at Pearl Paints. I will paint you
the Renoir of the beautiful woman
in the blue dress and crimson hat
and the girl with the chapeau fleuri,
and I will remember forever
your face, your auburn hair
damp and tousled, your cheeks
flushed pink, the very last time
we made love.