“I was in the kitchen
and he was sitting at the counter.
He looked at me and smiled.
He said and I’m not kidding,
‘If I were to ask God
to create the ideal woman,
intelligence and talent,
He could not do better than you.”
“It melted my heart”, she said.
“I just went to him and kissed him.”
“I don’t know what to say, I said.”
‘Don’t say anything.’ he replied.
You don’t have to say anything,’
Her ex Max shook his head,
He’s a smooth operator, that guy.”
Max leaned in and
Just below her ear
on the nape of her neck.
There was something about
the way she smelled.
It wasn’t perfume or essential oils.
It was her.
Like distant lilacs
like before a fall rain.
It was almost ancient,
Archetypal, was it pheromones?
It transcended lifetimes.
It was encoded in his neurons,
Did everyone notice that about her?
“What are you doing?” Ophelia asked.
“I need a shower, I know.”
“No” said Max, “I love the way you smell.”
“Idiot.” she said pushing him playfully away.
It was a little after midnight
when it started.
First on the left cheek
on the inside of the crack.
A really inopportune time,
as he was in the middle of a date
that was going rather well, for once.
But it just kept getting worse.
He tried standing and
“I have to use the little boy’s room.” Max said.
“Hurry back,” she replied,
“ I need to tell you something.”
Blowing him an air kiss.
He bit his lower lip and
practically ran to the bathroom.
The men’s room door was locked.
He couldn’t wait and
stepped into a closet,
pulled down his pants
and started itching like
a violin player.
a waiter opened the closet door.
And there he was
hand in the cookie jar,
forever frozen in time.
When the marriage ended
Max was away writing a book about the endocrine system.
By the time he got back,
Ophelia and her mother had already packed
a massive steel shipping container full of all their stuff.
He was left with virtually nothing.
She gave him 3 forks, 3 chipped bowls,
and a set of green plates that she didn’t like.
After that, she would drop by periodically
to take something else.
Like picking treats off a carcass.
One time she showed up unannounced
and took most of the rose bush.
“I took a course in roses” she said,
“I can propagate these.”
Then she came by again
and took two huge pieces of the cactus.
“I found a great recipe.”
A third time, she went into his closet
and took all of his silk underwear
(a gift from her mother on his birthday).
“My mother needs these back.
She’s making Romulus and Remus
little outfits. You don’t mind do you?
It’s not like you ever wear them.”
It flew off the wheel
on 7th Avenue.
She was a French woman, very sweet.
It cut her rather badly.
Her shin was bleeding.
Alex, Yevgeny, and Max puled over.
Alex jumped out of the car.
“I’m so sorry!” said Alex.
“It’s not your fault.”
“What’s your name?”
“Genevieve, you need to go to the hospital.
can we take you?”
“Yes, s’il vous plaît.” she was beginning to feel faint.
They drove like Banshees
to Saint Vincent Hospital.
“Should we wait for you?”
Harlie, the AI was acting funny.
Like some hacker had
slipped him some digital windowpane.
You could tell by
the benignly sinister comments,
and teeth grinding.
(Teeth of solid steel, mind you.)
“What if we can’t get him back?” asked Max
“I knew this guy at boarding school,
he dropped acid and was never the same,
total psychotic break.”
“Bird flu must have been a cover,” said Harlie.
“Feed the signal” he added cryptically.
Not too hot during the day,
and still cool at night time.
Which is the right time,
for those of you keeping track.
Max found the note in a tupperware container
that the neighbor had left out for the feral cats.
Who wrote it?
It was crumpled like it had been thrown out.
It looked like her handwriting, he thought.
Then he realized how silly that was.
If that was her intention,
she wouldn’t leave it on a crumpled piece of newsprint.
Picked this rose in remembrance of you.
And the sage flowers with a splash of blue.
For the sad I feel thinking of you.
I know it’s over, but I can’t stop wanting to be true.
I just can’t undo the years of holding and having your back.
And I can’t bear the thought of some him with you.
What’s clear is my lack of emotional maturity.
I’m a teenager again,
reverted back to a pot smoking adolescent.
Hanging on your every word and action.
Embarrassing but true.
“I scratched my hand picking roses for you.”
It was a lie. The cat had done it.
It was also code for,
“I hurt myself trying to get over you.”
Which really felt drama queen pathetic.
It was self-inflicted,
still, he knew he was just playing a role.
And it was a mediocre performance
because he was aware that his script
lacked for something.
Suddenly it came to him,
two turntables and a microphone, that was the answer.
Max was half asleep on the couch,
watching a rerun of the Dick Cavett Show.
A fat Orson Wells was the guest
musing about being visited by “the black dog”
Churchill’s euphemism for depression.
“Hmpf” he snorted at the tv, “What does he know?”
Petting his little black companion,
inbred and manic.
He reached down and took the rock
that it was chewing from it’s mouth.
“Not the brightest in the litter, were you?”
The pooch licked his face
and dug his head into his armpit.