Should Have – 1982

In those shorts, underneath a

blouse I bought her, she stayed crazy

like a loon while I waltzed her

backward thru the stations of the cross

Toward the next morning.

She was so damned good-looking

A guy could hardly stand

to be around her.

Down here on a mercy mission, she was.

On a sort of a memory cruise,

She wheeled by me all past lovers:

A book, the melodies, whiskey and a woman.

She had a form-free quality–

Liquid in a malleable vessel.

She could bend: Christ, she was flexible.

But with her tempered core,

she was always on her toes,

Even lying down.

I could have known her like

I’d never known another.

I should have fallen

in love and stayed fallen.

Instead, worrying, worrying about some-

thing still undefined,

I sing to strangers of a stranger

Disguised as me,

So powerful he stopped my ears

From hearing her ask her only task

Should be

To stay with me.