Valentine (Of Sorts)

Valentine (Of Sorts)

The rain pleading its way down the driveway, exploring
the fine chiseled vintage cracks, followed by a homeless
man in denim beard, holding up his badly frayed plans:
today’s chilly Thursday solo piano sustain. Lugging

that new prescription for smoother traffic, by capsule,
a blue-gray chemical blowtorch for your rusting bridge.
This doesn’t look like any card I’ve seen before.
Where is the small-type price in verso, the blind

stamping, sentiment and/or joke, plus ridiculous marble
envelope? My solution: one day a year for scaring up
war on the tube, in papers of record and malls, every
other day for loving the way Joplin wanted but never

got. Taint so much to axe, said the empty bottle
to the recycling center. The center holds but
is penalized for it. He pretty much holds every
play—defensive linemen are so quick nowadays.

Everybody’s gotta do what everybody’s gotta do,
said quark to jaguar. Free will’s always the most
expensive option. The math of history, a zero
sum. And options list what we can become.

for Isabel, 2001, Russian Hill, San Francisco