For AntoineAfter Kenneth Koch
I love you as a widow loves the memory of pancakes on Tuesday morning
with her fourth and best husband, who brought her the blackberries
she dropped into the pancakes frying on the stove.
Love is never having to worry your beloved will hate your pancakes.
Who am I kidding? I worry all the time you won't love my pancakes
when I slip in the wheat germ and brewer's yeast to keep you healthy.
I am writing this as the economy crashes, thinking I will soon need to grind up
my old huaraches to extend the flour in my pancakes.
Tony, it's a shame I didn't call you Antoine from Day 1. Now it's too late.
Your hair when you step out of the shower is glossy as blackberries.
And blackberries remind me of the small clouds tumbling against each other
this evening as we drank wine at sunset.
Antoine—yes, Antoine!—tu es le meilleur!
Remember when we met at Cabo's in 1978?
You were a Carthaginian general, I was Rome waiting to be laid waste.
Or maybe just laid.
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some
have greatness thrust into them."
Antoine, I feared I was not great.
Antoine, the package of wheat germ says it is not GMO.
Oh my dear, my sweet one, those tree crickets singing?
They're devastating the blackberries!