after David Lehman
The orgasm likes the dusk best, the time of day
when the visible becomes the invisible,
and the physical world, a fantasy or dream.
That’s when the man and woman remember him again
even if it’s true, they’ve been married so long,
the wife has become cheerless and drab
in her navy blue pantsuits—her Barbara Bushes
as she calls them, and the husband
has lost his shirt, as the saying goes,
and never found it again. Sad
how failure becomes the story of a life,
a reality his wife says he should check.
(She’s always trying to cheer him up.)
But in truth the man squandered his estate
ages ago and now sells real estate during the day.
He says it doesn’t feel very real because he rarely
sells any. Define real, the woman argues,
as she slowly peels off her nylons
and massages her calves. In the almost
dark she still looks like the braless girl
the man fell madly in love with on Election Day
on November 4th, 1980. Never mind
that Ronald Reagan had just been elected,
that they’d voted for Jimmy Carter,
the woman still called it Elation Day
as she unzipped his pants.
What are you doing? he asked.
Just waiting for you to grow up, she said.
And he did. Again and again,
he grew up, replaying this scene
in his mind. She was so sexy back then.