For the Love of Michael

Green Man

Water pellets raced upward in the neon,

light in the bar

I watch your animated face,

your pea green tee shirt and apple-red sweatshirt.

You speak of Michael.


At that moment he glimpsed our way in the bar.


The pain in his blood-red eyes reflects in yours tonight.


You said each day you rode the green line, 10 miles

after work

to the hospital.

Michael has a tumor in his brain.

you sat

sometimes he talked.


He told you no more dates. No.


He asked you to leave.

It’s too painful to run on a Boston street in the rain,

or tan on Cape Cod.


I look away at the shimmering water-tank

as your young face asks why him, not me?

March 2003

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