Saturday, October 31, 2009

366. brief encounter

The silkily enchanting Rosie Pollito sidled, no she
sashayed into my life at 7.28 pm on a rainy Wednesday
when she slid into the seat beside me at Ben's Diner
with a brave little smile and a shake of her blonde curls.
I gagged on my Salisbury steak, fries on the side,
and tried not to look too Italian. Buona sera.
I mean, of course, such a wonderful evening.
She eyed the rain pounding against the windows
but said nothing, extracting a cigarette from her purse.
Sir, could you give me a light, she said.
Sir! Madonna! This vision of loveliness shows me respect!
I fumble desperately for a lighter then call out for matches
smiling graciously all the while, yet remembering
Dio Mio! to hide the snaggled tooth on the left side,
a hideous thing, I know, something must be done.
Do you mind terribly if I smoke? I don't mind if you burn
I thought wildly, as long as you can burn for me.
I am lonely, I am lonely. Women don't usually talk to me.
You're kinda cute, she said, words I will always treasure.
Say, would you offer a girl a cup of coffee? Offer, offer?
I would go out and grow the beans under a scorching sun,
harvest them lovingly, grind them between my fingers,
choose the purest spring waters and bring matters to a boil!
There is sadness in her eyes, a sadness I can cause to pass,
a sidelong glance: rounded and springy her quite ample ass.
Say, what's the matter with your mouth? Is nothing, is nothing!
Thanks for the coffee, Sir, 'fraid I gotta go. Working girl!
Working girl? What is working girl? I rise and kiss her hand.
She is tall, taller than me, she smiles, she kisses me on the cheek.
Me! She kisses! On the cheek, my cheek, she, this woman kisses me!
With a wave she disappears into the Chicago night. It was 7.49.
It was the seventh of September, 1963. I am an old man now
but never will I forget those moments. They warm my frozen heart.