SONNET WITHOUT BEN KOPEL IN IT
Dear Ben Kopel: I saw you walk Denver
in your Cheap Sunglasses and Rock-n-Roll Shoes
a-saunter all Could-Give-a-Fuck—Ben Kopel you
didn’t see me and I didn’t wave
turning left onto Iliff—though I yelled “Ben Kopel!
Ben Kopel!” to the air. You disappeared
on University toward Downtown, Levi and
plaid, unshaven, some eight inches taller.
Disproportional in swagger and stare
with a beat like a cop on the hometown ground
I once stomped, longing myself rhythmical, sound—
O Ben Kopel there’s a halfass wannabe Ben Kopel here
where sun glares off overpriced loft windows and mourning
doves call into downdrafts inscrutably thin.
I know what we should do I think
while listening to you tell me
about your best friend who rides gondolas
in virtual Venice
with his internet girlfriend.
You explain the absurdity of it while
I imagine using you as a desk upon which
to compose my sonatas.
One woman stands on the middle of the pool table.
She tells us about our speedy journey to Hell
& another sits beside me
interrupting our dinghy ride to say
It’s just so hard sometimes.
She smells of wet wool
& builds igloos for a living
has on other nights sung about dancing
with falcons: staggery waltzes. They lean
on your arm with just the right amount of
pressure, secure but not too committed.
I recently saw an igloo. It looked real
& the gray around your temples
looks real & that must go into
the composition too.
And ice luges, bonfires, us
leaping, naked falconers, over them.
The brutality & indelicacy of
holding tightly to our whiskey-on-rocks
so as not to hold too tightly to one another
leaving talon marks on something not ours.
When I woke up this afternoon
I found a souvenir pen—
its tiny gondolier rolling disinterested
from end to end; the only thing we thought
was worth the money.