Yes, it was a pretty October night,
Perfect for a brisk walk through the fog-laden city,
though I think he overdid the evening
when describing it later. It really wasn't yellow,
but more greyish-blue, as if the sky was backdropped
with old comfortable denim,
like the slacks he wore with the cuffs rolled.
He was quiet, watching the smoke rise from the grates,
As I chattered on about the show at the Walnut Street Theatre.
Occasionally his lips shook, as if he wanted to ask something,
but instead he'd stare intently at my face.
I wondered if he had seen the show before. Or maybe
I had some bread crumbs on my cheek.
And later, sipping tea in his apartment,
We listened to some Ellington on the radio,
With cakes and marmalade sitting on the table.
I waited for him to finish nibbling the silence,
But he didn't. I pulled the shawl around me tighter,
It was getting awfully chilly in there --
And yet, he just kept staring and twitching,
So I settled back in the chair to relax.
A few hours later the lamplight crept into my eyes,
As I'd apparently fallen asleep in my chair.
He had put a pillow under my head
And was still staring. So I asked what was wrong.
He muttered some things about Lazarus,
or how Prince Hamlet was a fool. I don't remember,
I was swimming through dreamy tea when he proposed to me.
At least I'm fairly sure he did; in the morning
he denied it all. A million revisions, indeed!
So I made him cook breakfast and call me a taxi.
After all, that was the least he could do after dragging
me across town and keeping me up all night.
He never called me again.
I read his poem in the Poetry National a few years later,
wondering if he knew I thought his bald spot was cute.