Matthew Lippman

Blond for All the Boys
March 18, 2019 Lippman Matthew


Frank Ocean didn’t mean anything to me till Dave said check out “Self Control”
and we sat in the hot October sun
and listened which was weird
because Dave doesn’t usually hang around.
He’s busy with his son and his paper route
and the gliders in his mind
that take him from one uninhabited island off the coast of India
to Friday night dinners at Joan’s.
But he stayed,
sat with me and then the chorus blew over the clouds and trees,
right into us.
He said, “Just be here with this,” and Frank was singing the word summertime,
like love had won
and I looked over at Dave with his feet up on the table.
He was singing along, summertime, barely moving his lips,
and I thought he was going to cry.
In my mind I was saying, Come on Dave, you can do it, you can do it,
some weird desire in me to be in a room with another man
who cries.
You see why I am so desperately alone in this world?
Lying on two thigh thick oak branches most days,
40 feet up,
all alone in a tree in the rain?
For a second I could feel Dave in that oak with me,
until he had to be busy again,
but for a second it was cool,
didn’t matter what color Frank Ocean’s hair was,
pink, green,
blond for all the boys who want to cry,
then sit up in bed,
and cry.

Matthew Lippman is the author of six poetry collections. His latest collection, We Are All Sleeping With Our Sneakers On (2024), is published by Four Way Books. His previous collection Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful (2020) is published by Four Way Books. It was the recipient of the 2018 Levis Prize.