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XOXOX

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Valentine’s Day

Among twelve expensive entrees,

The only thing moving

Was my rapidly mounting credit debt.

II

I was of three minds,

Like a man

Awkwardly watching the Spice channel with his girlfriend.

III

The valentine whirled in the autumn winds.

What dumb thing did I say this time?

IV

A man and a woman

Are one.

A man and–

Damn, I’m sorry. I thought I could keep a straight face.

V

I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of imperfections

Or the beauty of her toes

She says, “You’re kind of a freak.” Now,

Or just after.

VI

Icicles filled my long-windedness

Because I am an ass.

I talked of Shadoe Stevens,

Unbelievably, to and fro,

The mood,

in discussing Shadoe Stevens,

Indicating: bad idea.

VII

O thin hippies of Broadway,

Why do you ask me for change?

Do you not see how the fiancee

And I walk around your feet

Because we hate you?

VIII

I know wily stratagems

And lucid, clever rationales

But I know, too,

That the fiancee will not let me

Play Fear’s “Beef Bologna” at our wedding.

IX

When the blind date flew out of sight,

It made you think

About the inappropriateness of handjob jokes.

X

At the sight of people making out

In the Starbucks parking lot

I clutch at my pickaxe

And cry out sharply.

XI

He sat over the freeway

In a tall glass office.

Once, a fear pierced him,

In that he realized

He’d forgotten where

He’d parked the damn car.

XII

People are crabby and stressed out.

It must be Valentine’s Day.

XIII

It was afternoon all evening.

It was not snowing

And not going to snow.

The couple sat

In stupid Seattle.

Happy Valentine’s Day or not, depending on your point of view.

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