For Jose From Queens
This poem is for Jose from Queens,
who lives a mile past Shea,
and the day we spent at Coney Island.
This poem is for his smooth brown chest,
the day he called me “baby” and “sweetheart.”
Grandfather of one. Wife dead five years.
Heavenly all this tattooed flesh,
soft ice cream melting in the sun,
and there’s me and Jose at the pier, on a bench.
You say you want my phone number, but you don’t have a phone.
This poem is for your short strong arms,
the day you called me “mama,” “bonita,”
bought me a lemonade instead of a beer and sat closer,
closed the distance between us.
You want to know when you’ll see me.
This poem is for those nursing babies on the F train,
that I looked out at the ocean, alone, before meeting you,
licking my ice cream in the wind and sun.
“Are you married? Have a boyfriend? When will I see you again, baby?”
This poem is for your nipples, Jose,
for Japanese tourists in the bumper cars.
You tell me where to find you, where to look,
these benches, sometimes on the sand with a radio,
but only on a nice day, like this one.
You’ll bring me lunch, a little chicken.
Your mother taught you. She can cook. This poem is for her,
for your father who left you that house in Puerto Rico, your birthplace:
“Think of it baby! No rent!”
Yes, I am a consulting Astrologer and Tarot Reader but started a 30 Poems in 30 Days project in late January, mostly unpublished poems from the archives. I took two of the poems away today though (long story) so if anyone’s gone looking, the project is missing pieces, possibly to be returned and possibly not!
Tonight I was even wondering if I was going to finish my 30 days. I’m almost at the half-way point….
Oh. I just realized. This poem was written when Shea Stadium still existed!!!