from Pet Sounds

riding around on a blow up dolphin
in the pool with my friends
you’re not here but it feels like you are
extruding all these pieces in the water

I remember how pretty Bonnie was
dancing in a long skirt, how she squirted breast milk
over the van, the time she was superwoman
for Halloween even though I was never there

she careened through the photo of you and Mark
last weekend I caught it. your ex-wife, your brother, your
family. sometimes it’s still a little weird. sometimes I forget
we’re not going to have kids. these aren’t exactly

sonnets. I tried, but they didn’t turn.

you didn’t go to college or grow up with money
but in a suit you pass for a businessman
walking up Durant to rehearsal some Cal students
drove by in a truck. fuck you faggot suck my dick.

in a photograph on the boat your family took
from Scotland to Vancouver, you and your brothers
wear red wellies and pajamas. three small santas
some kind of pageant. after they moved everyone to California

you found your parents in bed new years day morning
with friends and the head of a suckling pig
which is to say your dad made some money in the 70s
but spent it all on clothes and Le Central

where he barely touched the food. smoked
endless cigarettes, drank endless brandies.

when your boss sexually harassed you
nobody including us knew what to do

when a rich white married gay guy with a lot of power
harasses a not rich white married bisexual guy
with a medium amount of power

the co-pay for an appointment I pushed you to
make this morning came to $360 after all the tests
because nonprofit insurance sucks so bad

you said you’re taking yourself out to lunch
you’re looking up the thing it could be
the thing you asked me please not to look up

I’m writing this in my office at work
because you’re home sick. I knew
if I worked there I’d take care of you instead.

maybe you also meet your own needs
by meeting the needs of others. I think so.

that I do may or may not mean anything
about how far we haven’t come. I am not
every woman. every woman is not in me.