As I go to the escalator
a young fellow and a lovely young girl
are ahead of me.
her pants, her blouse are skin-
as we ascend
she rests one foot on the
step above and her behind
assumes a fascinating shape.
the young man looks all
he appears worried.
he looks at me.
no, young man, I am not looking,
I am not looking at your girl’s behind.
don’t worry, I respect her and I respect you.
in fact, I respect everything: the flowers that gorw, young women,
children, all the animals, our precious complicated
universe, everyone and everything.
I sense that the young man now feels
better and I am glad for
him. I know his problem: the girl has
a mother, a father, maybe a sister or
brother,c and undoubtedly a bunch of
unfriendly relatives and she likes to
dance and flirt and she likes to
go to the movies and sometimes she talks
and chews gum at the same time and
she enjoys really dumb TV shows and
she thinks she’s a budding actress and she
doesn’t always look so good and she has a
terrible temper and sometimes she almost goes
crazy and she can talk for hours on the
telephone and she wants to go to
Europe some summer soon and she wants you to
buy her a near-new Mercedes and she’s in love with
Mel Gibson and her mother is a
drunk and her father is a racist
and sometimes when she drinks too much she
snores and she’s often cold in bed and
she has a guru, a guy who met Christ
in the desert in 1978, and she wants to
be a dancer and she’s unemployed and she
gets migraine headaches every time she
eats sugar or cheese.
I watch him take her
the escalator, his arm
protectively around her
waist, thinking he’s
thinking he’s a real special
guy, thinking that
nobody in the world has
what he has.
and he’s right, terribly
terribly right, his arm around
that warm bucket of