Mark Budman

Romancing on Stones
(a Love poem)

The eastern sun
burned the cornea of his eyes,
hot winds from the south
shook his ears,
the Western cop
gave him a speeding ticket,
and the clouds from the North
threaten to shower him with water.
Yet he came strong
like a Ford pickup
in need of a tune-up,
like a horned bull
in need of a long straw,
like a crooked politician
in need of votes.
She faced him,
more graceful than a four-legged gazelle
on Discovery channel,
who grazes grass and outruns the lioness,
wittier than a stand-up comedian
who makes jokes for a minimum wage plus tips,
more forceful than a subpoena,
more accessible (but only to him)
than the Yahoo Web page
to a dork with a T-1 line.
They made Love
on unyielding stones
rougher than a wrestler's jokes,
hotter than hotcakes with peppers,
in the oven set on "clean",
until the sun was gone
in the hole between two smooth mountains,
spread apart,
and the moon came
that shone on their bodies
like a Star War laser
gone awry.
Yes, they were happy and gay (in the old sense of the word)
because Love is queen
above all earthly queens,
because Love is prez
above all earthly prezes,
because Love is a god
above all earthly gods,
because Love is landlady
above my landlady,
and because this poet
gets paid by the line.

A leaf is dying
like a wounded bird
drops, too heavy for the air.

Wind brings the leaf drained
to your feet.
Crash it with your heel,
like they shoot sick horses.

Barrel in the horse's ear,
the shooter's stetson shading his eyes,
as a tobacco-stained tooth
draws blood from the lower lip.

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