Sunday, February 15, 2009

Outside the Insurance Office

Outside the insurance office, the office where
the Japanese agent wears her bleached
blond hair like a teased lampshade,
and where they pipe
music onto the sidewalk (Is it
insurance music?) there is
concrete curbing, the leavings of some
landscape ambition never realized, and
being my father's son
I can't see such a thing without suffering
an Ovidian transformation.
My big toes harden into half-hoofs
The four little toes merge into
the other hoof-halves on each side.
My eyes grow bright and beady. My head cocks.
I am no longer nice: I am
all lechery and mockery. I give a little bleat,
and skip up onto the curbing,
four inches wide, plenty for my goat self:
I walk the tightrope across the office front.
Their gum-chewing pauses in there.
They want to see if I'll fall. I never do.
At the street I drop lightly to the pavement,
and assume the guise of a kindly, white-haired man
walking home from the bus stop. You never know.

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