My wife’s ex is up on the roof
repointing my chimney.
I can hear him walking around up there
as I lie here in bed thinking
about the symbolism. It feels
a little like he’s walking on my grave
and a little like I’m sleeping in his. “He’s very
handy,” said my wife. “He can fix
anything.” I suppose most men
would find it too emasculating
to hire their wife’s ex-husband
as a handyman. But I am not
most men. And I am not
the least bit handy. As for their marriage,
that was something he couldn’t fix,
no, not after he cheated on her.
And now the bricks are flying
outside my window, bits of mortar
and flashing raining down as he chisels
them loose from the joints. My wife is
getting out of the shower. I can hear her
humming to herself in there. Pretty soon
she will stroll into our bedroom
completely naked, her magnificent
nipples shining and a grave
mischief in her eyes as she begins
making love to me all morning
beneath the hammering blows.
poetryrepairs #224 15,05055
Bar Mitzvah Boy Studies the Lobsters in the Tank
I wonder if they suffer,
their claws tied up like that.
Like trying to yawn
with your elbows. Poor things,
I’d like to bust them out of there,
buy them up and let them all go
in the creek behind our house.
At $10.99 a pound,
and five dollars a week,
it would take me--let’s see--
a pretty long time.
That big one climbing up
on top of the others,
his foot in someone’s eye--
what does it get him but closer
to the lobster pot? Better
to hide underneath or in back.
Be inconspicuous. Blend in.
Just look out a window like
you’re considering the weather--
tum-tee-tum. Still, they could call on you.
The world is like that.
But if you have the answer--
if you know you’re Torah portion
and your Haftarah portion
and all the songs and prayers--
you have nothing to fear. You can sit
anywhere. You can hum a little tune.
Be conspicuous. Be idle. Be brazen.
When they call on you,
just start singing.
They’ll praise you and maybe
give you enough money
to save all the lobsters--
which would be a real mitzvah.
poetryrepairs #224 15,05055
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