poetryrepairs 16,05055

PAUL HOSTOVSKY : Repair
PAUL HOSTOVSKY : Bar Mitzvah Boy Studies the Lobsters in the Tank

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PAUL HOSTOVSKY
Repair

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.

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PAUL HOSTOVSKY
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.

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REPAIR: resort, frequent or habitual going; concourse or confluence of people at or in a place; making one's way; to go, betake oneself, to arrive; return to a place; to dwell; to recover, heal, or cure; to renew; to fix to original condition. -- Oxford English Dictionary


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PAUL HOSTOVSKY

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