You call me about your car—why does it smoke?
I want to say desire has caught your engine
and your well oiled heart has frozen from the heat.
—Or should I use the male vocabulary I’ve heard
around the bottles of beer at cook outs
when the men gather at one end of the table
and the women find themselves at the other
turning over the lumpy potato salads of their lives?
In the end I take the male high road—I
suggest your radiator leaks under pressure.
I, too, leak under pressure. The hot air puffing
up my chest sighs down like a balloon,
and the hero in me suddenly sees himself
as ordinary as the man who gets on the bus
in the morning and steps off in the evening
knowing nothing but the humdrum of his heart,
hoping for the red convertible of your smile
to pass by and give him a lift.