The Low-Down from Zeus from Issue 72
A shudder in the loins engenders there….
-William Butler Yeats
It’s true I knocked your mother up
One afternoon in a shit-hole hourly
somewhere between the Mission of Guadalupe
and the edge of the Bowery,
That day was warm and the place smelled like a pier.
The sheets were burlap… gave us both a rash,
and flowers wilted on the wallpaper,
daffodils or dandelions. The carpet was ash.
She was wearing a purple dress, thigh-high
by Jordache or Gloria Vanderbilt—you know,
a piece with class. I’d seen her swimming down at the Y
and convinced her to join me for a few sips of ouzo.
We talked a little, too, about something
deep, like fate. I think she knew
what she was in for. I’m not one for surprising,
and I bought her a sample of Rendezvous.
In bed she said I had the grace of a swan,
but in truth she wasn’t hard to impress.
She laughed at first, then turned sort of rigid, rambling on
how her husband wouldn’t like this.
I knew him vaguely, some guy from Greece
with a Spartan co-op on avenue I.
Most of us thought he was kind of an ass.
She was good about it, though, spreading her thighs,
and only a few tears fell, like sapphires
from a broken necklace. I could tell she wanted it.
the way she wiggled and moaned. It wasn’t her
first time, that’s for sure. Love her? Well, she had nice tits
and you’ll learn soon enough the complications love brings.
Why confuse a clean screw with all that
Hallmark crap: family and faithfulness and evenings
of Burt Bacharach? It never lasts.
In the end love’s more possession than passion.
I saw her a few times after and would always ask
about you. Once I tried writing. “Dear Helen”
but fell blank after that/ I’d rather talk
than type. Besides, my life’s been lifted straight
out of As the World Turns, silly, complicated, a real mess.
I’ve got kids from Brooklyn to the Bering Strait.
But Leda’s told you the stories, I guess.
Anyways, ride with me over to the Port Authority.
I want to hear about you, your dreams and doubts, your first kiss.
I really hate out afternoon’s gone so quickly,
but in an hour you step-mom comes in from Paris.