You Again?

with thanks to Randy Newman

You suppose because

you’re you and not Keats

(who never wore a scarf)

that every stroll will end

with a piano falling from

a window, because you’re

you and not a Bedouin

with blankets for a bed

and a needle through which

he’ll never lead his camel

all the way to Wichita,

not Simon and his amazing

bear dancing for dinner

in Times Square as the debt

rises and the restaurants

empty, the tabletop tips

contrary to all advice

a clutter of last sawbucks

though not yours, since

you’re you, a friend of

Whittaker Chambers,

that faint spray of spit

whenever he spoke, though

it isn’t enough to feel

callous, or was it callow,

always writing your slogan

in soap on mirrors,

“I could have been great,”

when all you’ve ever been is

exceptional, except today,

dancing beneath the piano

with a catcher’s mitt

open above your head,

the bear lumbering against

traffic to make his date

with weight: he’ll save you;

he always does.