Labor Day of Love

I meet you at the top of the drive as you pull in.

Three hours past due, Labor Day leftovers lukewarm.

Your music blaring


but for the exception

that it’s Yanni

and I can’t help but wonder

how that would be mildly offensive

in the least.


We talk briefly of your weekend at the casino.

You saw him in concert,

entering through the back

where the spectators come in

playing instruments he’d had

since he was in high school.

Sixty-one now, just a few years younger

than you, you can’t imagine

how he can go on like that

three songs straight

standing on a chair.

You watched 

mere feet away from him,

you gave him a thumbs-up

and he winked in return,

continuing to play.


We talk of your girlfriend

(how long you’ve been together

I can’t fathom.)

She’s in the Meadows again.

It was all your fault.

You had a bad day at work.

Doing 83 in the company truck,

the police didn’t catch you,

but the higher-ups at the company did:

you’ve been written up.


Dinner was ready when you got home

she’s good like that.

You couldn’t help but bring your work home,

and be angry at her for no reason.

You yelled.

You can’t remember what you said,

but it wasn’t nice.

Tuesday, she said she was ready to go in.

Wednesday, she called the cops, and even though

she asked to go, they wouldn’t take her.

Thursday, they never came.

Friday, two staties and a local boy

picked her up. She went along willingly.

No fight left in her.

You saw her today:

she could barely keep her eyes open,

her head down the entire time,

not remembering what she had for lunch

or if she had even had it,


like ice in cold, cold water

trying to revive someone,

or cold enough to take out a kidney,

or a heart, which you already had.


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