Sally opens the door and jumps on my friend,
hugging, kissing, and dragging him
into the kitchen. I follow. She yells,
“Polly! Mikey’s here!” tells my pal
to take off his shirt. Paul strolls
sleepy-eyed out of the bedroom, gives us
the brotherhood handshake. Billy Joel,
Cat Stevens, and Rasputin come to mind.
My buddy introduces me as “another poet.”
Paul blinks, steps in for a better look,
steps back and asks, “Who do you read?
Bob Hass? Jorie Graham? Lowell?”
I never know what to say, where to start
when asked that shit: who’s your favorite?
Name names, and there will be a follow-up
exam on what you know. So I spit out,
Bukowski, I guess. His eyes dance intensely,
“Yeah? Bukowski? He’s a smut poet.”
I laugh, not sure if he said “smut” or “slut,”
and feel the adrenaline pump, my heart beat
faster. Could be, I agree like some
dumb-ass sidekick at a fantasy salon
where the hair dresser runs her fingers
through the client’s hair while he grins
stupidly half-naked in a kitchen chair.
“You want a beer?” the poet-boyfriend
asks me. Sure, I say and sit down
on the worn-out love seat, watch Sally
press her pelvis against Mike’s side
then lean back and start snipping his hair.
Paul hands me a Heineken, and I quip.
What? No Rainier? He throws a questioning
glance at me, then says, “That’s all I’ve got.”
I raise the bottle, salute, and take a pull,
notice a bead of sweat in the hollow of my pal’s
neck, his hair combed down over his eyes
like Cher. She nudges between his knees
to get in closer to cut his bangs, and I see
one of her breasts loose and jiggling
through her baggy blouse sleeve.
“So you’re not a fan of German beer?”
Paul asks. No, just German poets,
I laugh. It’s good, but a little spendy for me.
We watch Sally straddle my buddy’s knee
then move in over his thigh. “You sell
weed?” he asks. Sometimes. When I have it.
I take a sip of beer. “We’re looking
to score a lid,” he says when something hits
the floor, and Mike grabs Sally around the waist
wrestling her onto his lap almost
overturning the chair. She screams and
pushes free, playfully warns him,
pointing her scissors at his crotch,
“Be nice! Or . . .” She snips the blades.
We all laugh (and watch her glorious
tits dance and sway) as she bends over
to pick up the comb she’d dropped.
“Okay then,” Paul grabs his double-breasted
P-coat, “Gotta go, Babe, I’m late. So
how much do you want for a bag?”
Depends. Fifteen right now if there’s any
left. “You’re shitting me, right? I don’t
want fucking ragweed, Man!” I shrug,
Does the job for me. He looks at me and smiles,
“Okay, Bukowski, we’ll check it out.”
I take another swig of his Heine.
Paul grabs his books, hooks Sally
and kisses her neck, gives Mike
the brotherhood grip, and flips me a nod
before lunging out the door—his hair
and coattails flapping. Sally finishes
Mike’s trim and brushes him off.
She rubs his arm and kisses his cheek.
They hug goodbye and agree to try
to get together more often. I thank her
for the beer—don’t mention Paul or pot
or the beautiful romantic poetry
I witnessed pert beneath her blouse.