LOVE POEM FOR THE REPEATEDLY DEFEATED
If your older brother grabs your skinny wrist
and makes you hit yourself
in your own face with your own fist,
you have my permission
to forget that this incident
has ever happened.
Someday, a woman will kiss you
right on that wrist and forgive
all that he ever did to you,
all that you were ever subjected to,
every pin you submitted to.
She adores the hint of blue in your skin.
When I call customer service
about the strange purchases
listed on my newest Discover bill,
the man on the other end
says he understands, wants to help,
but he keeps calling me Roger.
I explain that I’ve never been to New Orleans,
never stayed in Hotel Maison de Ville,
never spent the night dancing, dizzy.
“I’m so sorry, Roger,” he says.
“I’m so sorry.”
I tell him I’ve never had dinner
at Noma in Copenhagen,
never ordered deer and wild thyme.
“I’m sorry,” he says.
“I’m so sorry, Roger.”
Soon, I start to wonder
if my other half is living the real life,
learjetting to Fiji
while I live more responsibly,
balancing my checkbook,
I am on the phone with customer service.
I am Roger. I am on hold.
AND THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE
Everyone knows that Prince’s dad
played jazz at a gentleman’s club,
junior hanging back from the booze
and swollen noses, focused instead
on the tassels and the brass wails.
What you don’t know, though,
is that his mother, Mattie, was
head coach of the hockey team
at Gustavus Adolphus College.
The Kid is setting up the cones
on the blue line early one morning
at the outdoor rink, ringed with
nineteen Norway pines, when he hears
the steel blades of his own skates
whistle a very dirty word.
All rights reserved to Rob MacDonald.