D.S. Poorman's Before the Grave: Selected Poems is forthcoming from Radial Books in 2021. Poetry on this site is not included in the book.
"EXCERPT FROM A LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CONVERSATION IN THE BASEMENT" was recorded in 1994 at Twice Told Coffee House.
THE TWO-HEADED SHOWER
I have finally finished the two-headed shower
the one I started to put in when we were still known
to each other and for some reason whenever I
remember us together I see us in this thing.
The insert stacked on four by fours in the corner
of the insipid bathroom (we were not like the bathroom),
but still I remember you and I incredibly bathetic
in this shower and I am singing like a clown
“Soap, soap, soap, wash, wash, wash,” as I
attack you with the bar of Irish Spring and
you laugh and laugh until you can’t take it
and finally give in and sing along.
I am washing the lather head from my scalp
as I slick back my hair. One stream is striking
my crotch and the other cascades upon my chest
as I am smiling remembering this shower we never took.
Every love before you
and every kiss which snaked my tongue
and all the times my guarded hand
went empty like a tomb.
All the times I let slip
a truth I could not hold
and all the eyes
that took in mine
and found the vision cold.
And all the nights together
I’d better spent alone
make like oceans on the shorefront
and break as white as bone.
Hear me now, before I die.
I’ve felt a love as strong as stone
to make the others passerby.