Bed Bath & Beyond

I’ve been carrying bags for her
through Bed Bath & Beyond
from the Bathroom Department
all the way to Returns and Exchanges.
Then I would hail a cab and listen
to the Arabic pop and to her New Jersey
drool gentrified by Barnard and
by all night discussions at the Rights
Groups’.

Now alone and hollow
I would park myself at the Starbucks
between two bluetoothed Chinese
with their math books open on the same page.
I would miss her skin’s light
lemony whiff, her curly elastic
hair, the Mogen David seen in the cut
of her Versace blouse, her eyes touched
by an incidental madness and loneliness.

It’s her inability to take and mine
to give and vice versa. The espresso
turned into a sediment now, and
it was time to collect myself,
my notes on the Starbucks napkin,
my only real non-liquid commodity.
It was time to step out into the
darkening damp Broadway night, get
into another cab, listen to the hard-
stuttering English of the Russian poet-
cab driver, to the story of his fiancée
still back there without a visa.

I would think of us as
of two empty shopping carts
left in two opposite aisles
in the Bed Bath & Beyond
after closing.

Ship of Fools, 8/13/08

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