Sunday, April 15, 2007

Steven Karl

Your Panties


As he began to pick up around the room
there beneath the bed
lay a pair of panties

pink and chocolate
it’d be nice to say
that the sight drove him delirious
the mere appearance mysterious

but as he trilled his finger
along the frill he knew these intimately

the sight of the slight tendered cloth
delicately dividing the ass, the one he liked
the one she complained about

I wish it wasn’t so flat so many
of us have small flat asses!
Do I even have an ass?


Easy to remember avoiding people while
locked in here with smile flashed
fngers slipped between fingers
upper-body bare left foot forward
never mind the weather care to dance

That was in a place in
another state where the mint
grew wild where they drank mojitos
sat on the porch listening to the wind
slip through dogwood leaves

The floors stretched three-stories
his mid-century side-board with
whiskey and scotch decanters and
the silver tray all gone
the Eames desk replaced by
a miniature Ikea pulled from the trash

How did he end up here?
Did he fall asleep with his finger on the trigger?
Answers could not justify or quantify
the lyric simply went lame over a broken beat
the film went grainy from too much pause and play


He had bought those panties from a
young girl cleaved in tight pink cloth
her breast spilling into perfect semi-circles
they met eye to eye then the full pale of
her pinked lip— this is how it happened
lust spreading through the thighs

He was sorta cute easy-enough on the eyes
she much too relieved that he wasn’t
another of those Long Island creeps
that invaded her weekend shifts as if their mothers’
catalogues they had caressed their cocks to
had suddenly come to life

She bowed the pink box brown
the brand name cursived in black along the top


Later she turned round and round
braless in front of the mirror
eyes lit wet enthusing I love them
I love them I absolutely love them

When was the last time he
brought this little bow to his nose?

It occurred to him
he should return them to her
it occurred to him
as he entered the bathroom
he was alone
for the first time in
five years
Brooklyn empty
that day a leafless tree
beside his window
a bum asleep in front
of the bodega

Steven Karl is working on his MFA at The New School. His articles and reviews have been published in Teachers & Writers Magazine and on Steven is one of the curators behind the Teachers & Writers 2020 Visions Reading Series and he lives in Brooklyn.