Living on Avenue Banana
in the 1990s is not a lot like
drinking tea. I look up to the sky.
You shout at people driving by
in limousines. We eat rice and
chicken, wonder what to do.
You could go home and watch
your color TV or whistle on the way
to the sink. I can lie back on my
mattress like a tiny buffalo
and wave my hands at the flies
in the air or on my knee. Alone
I see white paint chips on the ceiling,
feel the need for something green or
golden. With you there’s sometimes
a step in between, you sitting
in my window reading a magazine.
Sometimes we’re watching
the same movie on different TVs.
Other times I’m giving you cigarettes
like moonshine by the sea. And
though this isn’t Paris in the 1930s
and I can’t be Henry Miller and you
can’t be Anais Nin, the look in your
eyes sometimes makes me think
of you as Grace Kelly in bed reading
a copy of Vogue, and me as Jimmy
Stewart, asleep by the window
with two broken legs.