Wednesday, September 25, 1991

TROUBLE? NOT ME!


TROUBLE? NOT ME!

When my weekly horoscope said I'd fall in love with a stranger,
perhaps a Gemini, I laughed, thinking how easily I'd outfoxed my fate, 
and escaped Eros' sting. Besides, it was during the Russian coup,
I was living a cloistered life; I'd sworn off men—especially Soviets,
having put the last one (a Cancer) on a plane back to his wife.
Chocolate is a lot easier on the psyche and tastebuds.
Minerva cautioned the entire centarian tribe of archers,
Unlucky in love, are you the problem or the key to the solution?
Sagge, be careful what you ask for. I don't believe in starcasts,
but I forgot the gods are practical jokers. 
A chance meeting with a stranger on a pier,
minutes before my forecast was rendered null and void,
I fell in love with a Gemini man from an overthrown country 
half-way around the world, without even a language in common. 
I forgot to specify I wanted a sensitive, rich, agnostic American. 
Instead, I got a piously orthodox aging Russian singer.
Always in hot water, I know I'm trouble, I wonder what he asked for,
& how many other Sagges were parboiled that week?
Blame fate or the stars the ship was stranded a week in port.
It began innocently enough—the night I drove him back to the ship
at 70 mph, my unexplicable tears, the swimming freeway.
Alarmed, he wondered if we'd get there in one piece.
I stood on the pier shivering in a summer dress
& bundled against the fog, dismally in love with a stranger
about to set sail. The gods take no prisoners, we couldn't board ship—
US customs had shut it down. Trouble, all right.
He pointed to the dictionary, are you free?
Was he was referring to political ideological freedom
just after the coup—it seemed a natural enough question.
Panicking, I assumed he wanted to defect. 
Six others jumped ship in Seattle and nearly drowned.
He shook his head, No. I thought, O god, 
it's the larger question: do I have ties, am I single? 
But he just wanted to go shopping before returning home.
Relieved, I said yes to all three counts.
We spent the week exploring backroads and beaches,
singing under the stars, before his ship left for Vladivostok.
My girlfriends sighed, how romantic! It's certainly a challenge. 
At least he's not married like the last one.
While I was busy fanning the blaze with a frying pan,  
my ship came in all right. And sailed without me.
I wonder where fate will take me this time:
To St. Petersburg as a Russian wife peeling spotty potatoes?
Or will he come here, dependent as a babe; 
both of us broke and hating each other,
living like caged rats in my shoebox of a cabin?
I've never seen the fall come in like this before: thunder & rain 
after a day hot enough to cook eggs in plein-air.
Last night's full equinox moon pushed on the sky
like an impatient child in the birth canal,
with bags packed, nowhere in particular to go.                 


 9/25/91
rev. 5/92





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