(written after my cancer diagnosis, 11/2/06)

What planet she's
dropped from,
nobody knows.

She hunts alone.

Coolly cruising
Rochambeau Avenue:
legs and
more legs, casual hips,
jagged shag, pillow lips,
and a mannish
two finger pinch
on her Parliament.

17, and
she out-Klutes
Jane Fonda.

A mixed pack
of cocksure
Bib & Sam's candy
store hanging deep-
toking James Dean-
afflicted egomaniacs
flex their blue jean
buttocks, but she
somehow plucks me.

Makes a man feel--
so proud.

Chats Fender
Stratocaster and
Gibson SG.
Tells me to read
Narcissus and Goldmund.
And that sheís tight with
Humble Pie.

"A real good-looking
guy with sensitive eyes,
to hang with locally."

Last night I was too
stoned to crawl out
of a two-feet-deep
Bronx Park East ditch.

amid the brush, beneath
the silver carving moon,
itís me and blue-denim
miniskirt clad, red
lipstick adorned, rooted

"I feel very submissive,"
she says, nonchalantly.

"Hummana, hummana, hummana . . ."
I am Ralph Kramden.
And hear the soft, low,
surging trill of a small
(voyeuristic?) owl, before
I collapse inwardly.


Across a great green lawn,
hand in hand, walks Regina,
with another man.

And I wonder,
where in this melted pot
Bronx Gehenna did that
breezy babe find an All-
American, long-blond-
haired, hippie stud named--
Atticus Rasper?

That was three-quarters
of a lifetime ago.
Since then,

Iíve survived:
A bat attack,
"Hey Jude," and

Have screwed
seven beauties,
read the Bible,
kicked Big Brother
in the balls, and
learned to love.

But if that unfinished
Regina business
haunts me still--

I need to get cancer.

© Ted Jonathan
Originally published in The New York Quarterly, Number 65, Page 54
All rights reserved.