Friday, October 2, 2015
THE COFFEE SHOP COUNTESS
a few of us
in jr. high school.
She'd sit there,
sipping hot cocoa,
of whipped cream
mustaching her lip.
Her big brown eyes
loiter in our Mermaid Ave
She was part French
part Jewish and all firecracker hot,
though she chose her times
to ignite us. Mostly she sat,
reading and laughing at what she read
or what we said or what we did--
which was nothing much.
Sometimes she came over to one of us,
sat down and pushed her face into
one of our necks. Our breaths froze.
She would look into our eyes
& without warning,
sticking her tongue into our mouths,
& just as suddenly get up & leave.
Hardly any words were exchanged.
Other times she'd grab hold of a hand
and take one of us into a back booth.
She'd rub the outside of our jeans
until we came--it didn't take long.
Steve once asked if
he could touch her tit
What's luck? she asked.
You know, he stumbled, good luck.
What is this good luck? she pressed.
Stickball, he said, we have a stickball game after school.
I don't know this stickball, she said, but here touch it.
We all watched as Steve stuck his hand down her blouse
and grinned the adolescent grin.
She never came back after that.
Bad luck for us: We lost her
& the game that day.
Greenwich Village, 2015