I’ve handled myself on trains, been handled, roughhoused
by a housewife for being rough
and ready in the cabin of a ship and never thinking,
“Oh to love,” but hoping I’d finish,
finish before it stopped. And jerked
from our seats I’m sure I wasn’t the first
to smell my hands, below, to taste what’d come
of three days or five days strange, country
unlike my own getting itself up inside my T-shirt, linted
nipples and armpits, oh.
Spent my nights with a British boy (who hasn’t?) who rolled
his shirt sleeves, buttoned down at night, and read T. S. fucking Eliot.
Who pawned a gun for a silverish ring, made me smell
like tobacco, and in the quiet, green-fingered morning
made me miss him like nobody’s business.
I’ve been called a handful, hard to live with, I’d make a shoddy
wife. Here in Canada graffiti rollers itself across pocked concrete
and a dozen “ROCK ’N’ ROLL”s or “I LOVED DONNA”s. There are local sayings
our foreign boys are still amusing themselves with, another wind-chill lark
and sometimes, “Life is great, isn’t it darling? ”