Lessons in Sexual Attraction
Because my ex-fiancée fell in love
with the ass of a mocha-skinned soccer player
who came from Brazil to Northwestern,
ruled the field in his tight violet shorts
emblazoned with Willie the Wildcat
just one semester before she failed English
and switched to Social Work then
changed schools and met me, years later,
still talking about it: those buttocks
like a chocolate David. Her lips smacked,
left a pucker of burgundy on my wineglass.
Her girlfriends smiled, knowingly.
It was a dinner party, I’d been weight-
lifting for years. I asked was he a nice person.
No, they said. You’re missing the point.
Poem Written By an Evolutionist Who Believes in the Soul
They say there are more people living now
on this earth than have ever lived before
which means, in terms of reincarnation,
that some of the people we pass on streets
must have been snails or badgers once,
since there are only so many human spirits
to go around—or maybe they were clouds
of atoms drifting through the wet vapor.
Perhaps the disgruntled toll booth operator
is the compilation of nine coconut trees and
the cranium of a pterodactyl, plus two lilies
and a salt shaker burnt up in a kitchen fire.
And I myself carry the essence of penguins
amid the faint consciousness of a tennis ball,
sharing space with those who were giraffes
and hippos, swatting flies with their fat tails.
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