Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 123 in June, 2010.
The erotic poem has three
components: lover, beloved and
what is between them. The
homeless men stand along the
street at fixed intervals, so much
space between each, waiting
for the shelter to open.
Shifting foot to foot, smoking,
turning in a small orbit on
their allotted square of concrete,
waiting as only the poor and ill
wait. The man in the black
cashmere coat runs from the
cafe to the BMW parked at the curb.
The telephone plugged in his
ear as firmly as an infant keeps
pacifier in place, sucking
at the world in hunger.