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« Happy Birthday, Dino Paul Crocetti, on an evening in Roma. . . | Main | Mayakovsky's "Cloud in Trousers" (excerpts) [translated by David Lehman] »

June 07, 2019

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Much Depends on Dinner

What did we order in that French restaurant?
The one you guided me to, so nonchalant --

terrine de Foie Gras and creamy crepes
filled with comté and little brown cepes
all sauced in bordelaise.

It was the turn of the century,
and the walls were lined in baize.

We sat side by side in the window for all to see,
foreheads converging in our shared reverie

Over the little round table -- a mesa where our hands wouldn’t meet --
heads nodding, oblivious to the traffic on the main street.

Though later you thought our conversation intellectual,
really, it was about family, nothing cerebral, or even, sexual.

I shot the vodka down my throat while you sipped your espresso,
as we painted our future on vanishing gesso.

The sappers cleared minefields from between our legs
and when the waiter rudely interrupted,
a bomb went off that broke some eggs.
But you were smooth as mousse and uncorrupted.

You chirped, Bring the check, she’ll pay, I’ve forgot my wallet,
or perhaps, she picked my pocket.

I paid and paid and paid again and I’d pay and pay and pay again
just to hear you once more joke
in that little boite called La Belle Epoque.

Merilyn Jackson 2014

In honor of Margaret Visser and my dinner date

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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