POEM: Smallman & 21st

Smallman & 21st

she said nobody
had ever kissed her
on a street corner
right out in public
that seemed like
a damn shame
so I kissed her

/ / /

Jason Crane
7 February 2015
Oak Street

POEM: by any other name

by any other name

the grass was southern, green in the way
the grass gets when it’s always hot and humid
green like the promise of huckleberry and locusts
we sat on the bank of a slow-moving stream
the baby’s stroller a few feet away
the baby himself on the blanket between us
cooing and playing with first your fingers, then mine
you used to wear lipstick sometimes
along with your funky retro glasses
you’d just cut your hair short, too
I was into sandals by this time, having
discovered them in the desert a few years before
did we bring snacks? probably not
I don’t remember ever thinking of things
lasting long enough for either of us to get hungry
for anything but one another
even though we had hours and hours when
nobody was wondering where we were
still, we approached every meeting like a secret mission
one from which return was unlikely, and for which
no continuation seemed possible
this message will self-destruct in five seconds
sometimes we barely touched, maybe
brushing fingers on the stroller handle
or bumping shoulders in that way people do
when they’re watching something else
but thinking only of one another
I’m not sure why I’m remembering this now
this week you’ve been on my mind
today I opened the English version
of a popular French novel to discover
the translator has your name
you’re on your fourth last name
between us we’ve had seven
which is, I think anyone would agree, quite a few
how tragic that in all those renamings
we never managed to settle on the same one

/ / /

Jason Crane
22 January 2015
Oak Street

POEM: second chances

second chances

She’s been with him for eight years.
It’s been sixteen since we were…
whatever it was we were.
Nearly five since “please forget me.”
Tonight I found a photo of her face;
a recent photo, not from our era.
She looks happy and beautiful.
The sight of her. Jesus.
Today someone told me
I fall in love too easily, with anyone.
Maybe. But I also stay in love.
I guess I’m a fool.

/ / /

Jason Crane
21 January 2015
State College

POEM: Happy Days

terrace

Happy Days

these sidewalks are littered
with slowly fading memories
their edges are folding up
colors draining from the images

already Terrace Bagels has changed
it shrank then grew again
Thomas Wolfe once more proved right
but at least the bagels are still good

I’m three blocks from “our” place
waiting for the person you were jealous of
funny how relationships turn out
how I cling to what I can

outside the cafe door a woman
shakes a paper cup in the wind
she’s singing a song I can’t hear
as one person after another passes her by

just in case the point needed to be made
the theme from Happy Days starts playing
I watch my own reruns for a moment more
then turn off the channel and stand to hug my friend

/ / /

22 March 2014
Terrace Bagels
Windsor Terrace
Brooklyn, NY