For John Ashbery
We pullmaned to Peoria. Was
Gladys glad, Skippy missed
Sookie so. So Peru-ward, home.
“I’ll sew buttons on dresses yet.”
Nike’s peach-knife nicked little
finger Chinese straw finger-cuffed
to Minna’s Siamesed. Hartford,
how are your wheres, our whens?
Or extirpated traumas’ gifted
guilt smothered aboard a club
car. Lake Ontario spilled
Jo Jo’s knapsack: “Pasternak.”
An alligator ate an alligator-
trapping monkey. We ate because
“it’s dark, it’s air-conditioned”
like lurching to the movies,
shot marbles in lobbies. What
interests? Takes? Escapes? Eat,
moth-light, part and apart, slowly
we slow waiters serve hot plates.