“To His Coy Mistress”

Baby, if we had more time,
This coyness, Mary, ’d be no crime
With nowhere else on earth to go
We’d drive around and take it slow.
Our thirst for cheap rosé we’d slake
Upon the shores of Greasy Lake.
And I would lead you by the hand,
Through backstreets and through jungleland,
Till in my backseat we’d recline
Beneath the giant Exxon sign.
And if you should refuse me flat—
’cuz you’re a tramp, but not like that—
And, screen door slamming, run inside,
My love would patiently abide
And grow at a non-threatening rate
Until it spanned the Garden State.

But like a river’s current flowing,
Life don’t wait—it keeps on going
Fast enough to make us drown
In this godforsaken dead man’s town.
Today: a turnpike beauty queen.
The next: knocked up at seventeen,
Because some loser made you quiver
In the dirt down by the river.
(You’re not the only one who’s shafted:
Within six months, he’ll be drafted.)
And just like that, you’re on your own
Trapped in Asbury Park alone,
Your dreams and youth condemned to wither,
As you curse that goddamn river.

So into my Chevy, let us steal!
We’ve got one chance to make it real.
Abandon, dear, this cursed abode
And join me on the Thunder Road.
Yes, Cruel Time is at our heels,
But screw Time’s chariot—I’ve got wheels.
Our path’s lying out like a killer in the sun
And baby, we were born to run.

- - -

“Sonnet 130”

My Mary’s eyes are nothing like the sun;
My other Mary’s breasts are far from firm.
In plainness, Janey cannot be outdone.
And Rosalita has an awful perm.

Sandy’s lovely—if the light is low.
Candy’s breath reminds me of low tide.
Sherry’s palms are chapped and cold as snow.
And Frankie’s just a tad bit lazy-eyed.

Bobby Jean is fine enough, I guess.
Diamond Jackie’s ass is hardly pert.
Wendy’s hair’s a frizzy, windblown mess.
Crazy Janey likes to roll in dirt.

And yet, each one is fairest in my sight—
Beauties none, but, hey, they’re all all right!

- - -

“Upon Julia’s Clothes”

The screen door slams, the radio plays.
In dashboard light, my Julie sways
And, damn, that girl’s got legs for days.

The gentle flow of your attire
As you dance stirs my desire.
Woooo, baby—I’m on fire!