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Oh Happy Day

ISSUE:  Summer 1996

I turn the TV on.
A serenade of platitudes begins.
The awful news chronicled with calm.
A happy weather man: curious,

since storms are brewing like
flukes above the ocean swelling,
while beside me Linda sleeps.
Today her son can’t love me.

He broods behind the couch.
He wants his mommy and daddy back.
The orginals—not the bearded fake
who loves him (who cares?) anyway.

I spent the last days of my marriage
studying the Vermeer in the Gardner,
a few days before it was stolen.
All that light: I could have slashed it.

Now another painting breathes there,
by Bronzino: only if we compare
do his Gods suffer. I kiss my lover
on the neck, because I remember

what’s missing. Now it rains on us
from the coast, and Casey comes out
to greet us. Time to go to school,
we say, Get that raincoat on.

Oh joy, he says, writhing with irony
(who taught him that defense?)
when on my way to work I kiss—
his wish today—his mom goodbye.


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