“The Summer’s Over, Jack Spicer!” by Matthew Dickman

And Paris, France,
is still Paris, France,
though we've never been there together
but might
if life were a little longer
and no one ever invented knives.
I am crossing the bridge again
and the city is behind me being rescued
or being destroyed 
with a leaf on the end of a branch
turning maple-syrup brown. 
The first one. The summer's over,
Jack Spicer, and I 
have turned my collar up against the wind
and health insurance, the clouds
and blue jays, against the gangbangers
and insufficient funds. It's getting colder.
We're turning from wheat beers to Stouts, becoming
our fathers again, our exhausted
uncles, bruising our knuckles
against the tavern walls
and young mothers, we're showing
up for work, we're blessing 
the promise of ice and snow and football to come
like the Israelites did with the sand, 
the gold, and the insects.
It's raining, Jack Spicer, and I miss
Matthew Lippman. He's walking 
through an alley in Boston,
his beautiful hands and shoulders, his wife and daughter
at home. His heart beating up 
his body like a heavyweight, the nose broken,
the ribs broken—
I'm not ready!
Kiss me, take your legs and make a belt
of stars around me,
be my winter coat, my sobriety and bodega.
The oceans are getting blue
and the oysters are getting ready. Soon
we can cover the table with newspapers, with the faces
of senators and crossword puzzles,
the oysters
spread out over the sports page,
we can open the hard shells
and slip the cold
soft bodies into our mouths. We can drink
white wine and make a kind of Pacific 
out of lunch. I want to lie around 
the room with your jeans 
flung over a chair. I want to eat ice cream
and have my older brother back.
The summer's over, Jack,
and all the waitresses
are putting on their black tights like a funeral
of knees, the bartenders are wiping down the brass, the waiters are drawing out 
their lines of cocaine
like long strings of silk, pure white and perfect.
I have crossed the bridge
into a Paris that doesn't exist. Really,
I'm in Portland,
the summer's over and the last of the breweries
are being pulled into the sky, becoming
lofts, getting roof-top gardens for surgeons and all their beautiful brides.

From Matthew Dickman’s “Mayakovsky’s Revolver”

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