Each month, write a new collection.
Wayward Kiss(after Dunn’s Tenderness)She was only a child knowing little of loveOnly that of her father being there after workAnd on week-endsThis was all she ever neededWanted or cherishedHer love for himAs she grew closerHer desire wanedWanting somethingMore than a touchA smileA wink of an eyeShe wanted loveWith intimacyWith thoughtfulnessWith a commitmentGrowing into a youngWoman she remembersHer father becoming distantMore harsh, still longingBut, never thereFor herHe was away from homeMore and more into her memoryInto the darkness of missing himFinding more of it in a neighborhood kidDown the street, always playing with herUntil one night came knockingIt was her boyfriend, the neighbor kidAsking her mother for the daughter’s Hand in marriageThe father had not been around for weeksAnd it was a crazy gesture, being she wasOnly eighteen years oldThe mother gasped at the request but stillWas able to let him in To only break his heartKnowing she was doing the right thingBelieving the daughter would follow her leadThe mother complained that she was too youngThe young man kept pleading in the name of loveBut the mother had none of it as she sent the daughterUpstairs to cry and let the boy go back down the streetTo everyone’s surprise she could not be found the next Morning because they had ran away together She had left through the window that nightTo be with him foreverNever to return to the lonelinessShe grew out of
writing this way after it's due, but jeepers it sure generated something: I’ve been thinking a lot about whores lately and whether I was one and about what one will do for legal tender. Alot is the answer. “You do what you have to to survive financially,” my mother told me.No, she was not a sex worker, and neither was I but somehow the appellation fits. She taught me to see heterosexuality as an exchange of commodities.Sex was always a negotiation. “I’ll let you do this, if you will do this for me, give me this, take me here.” That’s really paid work if you think about it.“You need to have your own money,” my mother told me but when I was a teenager she steered me towards boys who were wellfixed. And girls too for that matter. Not for sex, though — we were strict heterosexuals, but there was always the matterOf money. Who has it. Who doesn’t, and how to get some. Of course you worked legitimately, but could it hurt to know people who could give you things?visits to a country house, entree to a social club, skiing, dinners at nice restaurants, tickets to the opera, the ballet, openings. So when the word tenderness is mentioned by that famous poet I don’t understand what he’s talking about.I mean I know he’s talking about sex, not money, and love I guess, but when I come back to the word “tender,” I come up empty handed. Emotion-wise. I remember a song by some new wave group — General Public? — But it’s a concept that is foreign to me completely. And at “foreign” I hit on something that makes sense.When France went over to the euro I had to make a special strange trip to a big bank in Paris —some baroque cathedral of cash, all cherubs and gilding — to change my francs. I didn’t want to waste the currency.So I stood there, had to show my passport, pass through special doors, into a little room and for a moment I wondered what would I have to do to get my money? My daughter waited outside with a friend from the university.Briefly, this exchange felt like could be illicit — I mean after all this WAS France.But a little man with glasses at appeared at a window, took the cash and then gave me some other money. He tendered these unpretty bills. Yes, there’s the word again. I was grateful because it meant I had more and more is better than less. And it meant I could go shopping and buy my daughter something and take her and my friend out to dinner in this city of poetry and lucre and greed. That meant a kind of freedom. But it didn’t mean love, and it stillDoesn’t. My mother hated Paris, by the way.