I took all the shortcuts—fire
exit, hidden stairs, first car closest
to the escalator—and minutes later there
you were under the chocolate lamp at my
place, practicing French, irregular
verbs, ankles crossed at the
hiking boots. You put down your
book and tilted your head.
In the morning we put our heads together.
The apricots squished. The tears collected.
Then your cellphone hummed and the doorbell
bumbled. The super interrupted with his
mulched mood. So we got the hell out, to
the Greenway Terrace median strip where
everyone in this grow zone crowds into the F and
transfers at Jamaica. Let’s water the lettuce.
Let’s French at a crosswalk. Let’s thwack at each
other’s penises, cattails in a swamp, steeplechase,
gift giver, gift regiver, copycat, flatleaver, fat lover,
sugar shaker, Shangri-la.
Daniel Metz poetry has been published in Best New Poets 2012, American Poetry Review, Salamander, upstreet, Imitation Fruit, Talking Writing, Audio Zine, Temenos, Assisi, Mudfish, CCAR Journal, Verse Wisconsin and other journals. He is a retired technical writer and teacher, and has a BA in English from Columbia and lives in Manhattan. His book of poems It Wasn’t Easy to Reach You will be published in February 2025.
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