Gray Day

The wheel went round and left me
on a block of broken bottles,
spirits spent. So where
was the Los Angeles we dreamed of,

model for the others, with
its ideal tree (unmitigated lime,
pure pear)? Through swollen eyes I added
lots of blue to everywhere.

Beyond the tattoo parlor bloomed
a slough of hopes; I got myself
a permanent, I paid a man to shoot
two pearls into my ears (somewhere

an oyster’s sore); but still the trees
were shade trees—eyeshade, dayshade,
green made gray by evening, and not
an orange or a plum in sight, no apple

in an eye. Now that it’s midnight, maybe you
could send me just a shiver or an inkling
of a message, huh? I used to think the colors
added up to black—that’s how alike

some opposites can be. You came
as easy as you went. And half the time the virgin’s
deep in tears. And half the time the widow’s