Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Germans


We'll meet about once a year, probably

For sushi rolls and discreet shows of taste in wasabi
We'll smile the smiles of scared she-chimps
and grasp each other's elbows in manicured vices
before we sit and cross our knees to open the joust

We will play catchup as a points game,
asking after old friends off a checklist
jumping to mention first
(+- for Intimacy of Terms)
where they are going and how they are doing
in these stacked years since the school days

But She is the one we don't ask about,
for there is a limit to our cruelty;
also I cannot take it, for she was mine and is now


The strain arrives in about half and hour,
as smiles begin to crack and militant humor loses ammunition,
and we cast about for the key phrases of graceful retreat:
"before the bank closes,"
"cookies for tonight,"
"meeting my brother."

We'll never stop, either-- it would admit the breakdown of diplomacy
the ripping of our nametags (HELLO, I'm Decency)--
we hug through our purses over the table,

and for an instant, I wonder if you really hate me at all.


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