Watching the Complex Train-Track Changes

To Men

You put on an ornate ballgown
You say “someone has to do it”
You take me to where you work,
The inside of a pyramid with chasms,
Watching the complex train-track changes
Products and objects make love to my father
Two babies are born—Bruno and Daisy
You take your shirt off looking boylike & lovely
You get on the plane, both clown & wizard
And then get off in a comedy of manners
Our dates become a comedy of dinners
Your name rhymes with clothes
Your plane folds & flies away
Without us, I’ll make the next one
We are enclosed in spaceless epics by breathless bricks
& still we’ll meet like runes or the leashes for hawks
Let’s go! Can we stay? Go to sleep.
A tree wouldn’t talk or weep if I-forget-what
And you in the train’s opulent rooms
Switch your cock to a baby and then say
“Must there (not) be a law against this?”
You add, “I have been thinking of you in my head”
You wear green glitter on your shirt instead of
A tie, that’s how I recognize you as you
You are the prep cook the sous-chef you make
Duplicating potato salad like the loaves & fishes
You create gorgeous paper-like sculptures of foods
We go down in the car through threatening snows
To arrive in a second to eat in a renovated place
You and I tell “what” we are at the end of a movie
Our podium of soft loud feet flies by accident
I take the train to your house to hear Shakespeare & Verdi
Everyone applauds when you walk in. The director
Holds up each actor & describes his physical being
I talk to your father but only by telephone
You have the royal blue 8 � x 11 notebook with the lock on it
I want one but you say you cant get them anymore
I walk twice through that city I’ve been in before
All through its rooms, its streets and its Commons

"Watching the Complex Train-Track Changes" by Bernadette Mayer, from A Bernadette Mayer Reader. Copyright © 1968 by Bernadette Mayer. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
Source: A Bernadette Mayer Reader (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1992)
More Poems by Bernadette Mayer