Self Portrait as a Lonely Pursuit With Intermittent Moments of Joy

Fleming Meeks

First, strike the joy. Now, where to begin?

Christmas with your in-laws.
Your wife’s sister, Sara, gets a call
from her boyfriend. He’s at the bar
at the Chelsea Hotel with Tom Waits
and Andy Warhol.

It goes on like this.

Years later, you divorce and never see her again.

Next, pretend you’re talking with an old friend
who wants to borrow money.
Here’s how he sees it going:
You say, sure.

What’s the use of arguing,
and there is no end of arguing.

Now, joy.

Today you rode your bicycle
under a canopy of green,
in and out of sunlight
along the Kokosing River,
hair blown back by wind.

Some people say you’re stingy with love.
They’re right.
But others: you know who you are
and you mean everything to me.

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