Two Poems

West Coast

Mike’s up from Noe Valley one Friday

and we go out to The Copper Gate
in Ballard with his in-laws, for the pickled
herring and strange Danish cheeses.
Decorating the restaurant bathroom
hang light boxes displaying nude
women posing in black-and-white
and men who are dressed like women.
This used to be a sailor’s bar, and what
remains is this form of their loneliness,
and it becomes mine for a few hours,
reminding my body of its lusts
for close skin and how different from light
skin is, more like glass, or the breathing
of a horse in a dark, sodden field.
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