“You’re beautiful,” I said. “I love you.”
I met him half an hour ago
but he was and I did–
there were above a hundred thousand people
at the party and he was a bar-tender.
“Am I?” he said, “I don’t know what to say–”
Since he didn’t know me at all
he could hardly know that I was serious,
that I hoped he would be happy
as he no doubt deserved
because of his blue eyes and flowing hair;
and I wished that I could be one
who would make him happy.
I entertained even the wan idea
that I too in being one
to make him happy might be happy.
Instead I have him my little lecture
on how to live cheaply in Hawaii
which isn’t where I am going
and I kissed him despairingly
on the mouth and he said good-bye.
“Maybe,” he said, “we’ll see each other
another time.” What did he mean by that?
Text: For G., AET 16, by Paul Goodman
Image: San Diego, 1941, subjects unknown, via Osvaldo2107/Flickr