Friday, October 14, 2005

Avenue Banana

Living on Avenue Banana in the 1990s was not a lot like drinking tea.
I looked up to the sky. You shouted at people driving by in limousines.
We ate rice and chicken, wondered what to do. You could go home
and watch your color TV or whistle on the way to the sink.
I could lie back on my mattress like a tiny buffalo and wave my hands
at the flies in the air or on my knee. Alone, I saw white paint chips on the ceiling,
felt the need for something green or golden. With you there was sometimes
a step in between, you sitting in my window reading a magazine.
Sometimes we were watching the same movie on different TVs.
Other times I gave you cigarettes like moonshine by the sea.
And though it wasn’t Paris in the 1930s and I couldn’t be Henry Miller
and you couldn’t be Anais Nin, the look in your eyes sometimes
made me think of you as Grace Kelly in bed reading a copy of Vogue,
and me as Jimmy Stewart, asleep by the window with two broken legs.

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