Twenty Love Poems: 15

Now the East Wind in the dark
pools the sadness of fish firs
following one another in trills
nature an opaque amber
lamppost in the old town
lighting the tavern door.

The Tangerine Tiki Lounge
filled with refinery workers
stained men hearing whistles
without comment or pokes
they understand the lack
of likes and mean teases.

They are silent and still
the wives kneeling pewed
palm readers in crushed
pork pie hats or doily
napkins held in place
with black bobby pins.

But not hatted enough
to protect against love
awake the night long
moonlight floods back
yards creeping across
the neighbor walls.

Into the pearl surf foam
of salt and fat kitchen
back doors garbage cans
neon fog noir cigarette
smoke pile of alley puke
seagulls peck and lap.

A tiny tinny radio plays
oldies the men no longer
hear the women tap
their feet to the beat
the smells of rubbers
oils gases tubes smokes.

Over the steam plant a jet
cruises up Vista del Mar
an Olds convertible
sirens stop at Local Liquor
red lights from a balcony
above Vapor Trails.

Near railroad tracks and water
trains no longer carried people
truth made poor copy goods
confused sounds operas oranges
sugar beets in open cars north
to the old cold country.