Gargoyle 37/38
Cover Photo of Louise Brooks
Published 1/1/1990


Afaa Michael Weaver

We inched into the night
at sixty miles an hour, following
the limitations of an AM radio,
a metal dashboard, cracking vinyl,
the constant flapping of the wind
on the windows like tongues
crowded along the margin of glass
and vibrating invisibly, leering
at your hair hot-combed to silkiness
and lacking only the fateful gardenia
or my caress. The population of men
played in my ear.

Not even the studied putrefaction onstage
with the rock idol waltzing through on drugs,
a senile composer traversing
the broken glass of failed notes
as silence fell to dust;
not even the loud but limp music
could unlock my eyes as you
betrayed my innocent approbation
and clung to the arms of athletes
and negotiators whose suits
hung on them like the bright tenor
of roses, not dull and unwilling
like mine.

“Hey boy, you want my phone number?”
No matter that I brought you here
and you left me, no matter
that I struggled to remember
a whole other song by a woman
one who looked adoringly and sincerely
into my eye from the voyeurism
of television, no matter
that I knew in all my naiveté
that I was naive and nothing
was of consequence as the world
expected nothing of me but my
attempt to consummate with you,
in one night, months of dreaming,
despite Your indifference.