When I first had lunch with Frank O’Hara he was
running five years late. Over Strega and French
cigarettes I knew I’d never enjoy so comfortable
a lunch again. 1:13 p.m. on a Tuesday and I’ve been
awake an hour so it’s breakfast not lunch laid up
in bed as my lungs flood with smoke. It’s just you
and me and I’m planted here in Richmond. I've never
been to Pittsburgh and that's where you are.
Today it’s a stand-off and I’m scared of these bullets
that travel across state-borders, scared to fling wide
my arms and catch them with my vest, scared that
the force from your pistol knocks me back to concrete
and scared it might break my spine and scared that
you won’t try to kill me today.
Monday was yesterday and you sent me a photo
of the snow-coated view from your window and
you ask me why sometimes I’m unhappy and I
blame it on my itch to write lines like these, on
the itch that shoots up my shoulder blades with
these wings coming in.
3:08 p.m. on a Tuesday and I’m just out of the
shower and I’m smoking Turkish Silvers again this
week so things like the sky behind the clouds and
the sun when I’m seeing it straight-on look different
and dreamy. In this moment you’ve released the
trigger and I’m standing with a bullet in my chest,
telling you how I’m scared to die.