Sitting Across From You
sitting here across from you. my legs over yours.
I said you look like a mermaid.
it’s your curves. I am entranced by them.
you know this. but still you are unsure.
and perhaps these are the steps we are dancing.
your voice, right now, fading asleep, whispering to me about poetry, as the cat treats the string lights as a punching bag.
each one of us strutting.
when the overwhelming desire of want arises, we are no longer steering the ship.
discussing your love of fotos, this instant, as you search for the right words, as I type this, foreplay, watching our fingers dance, as I type without looking at keyboard and maintain eye contact while your eyes engage and disengage with me.
yes, fotos are different.
yes, it is not the same.
I do agree.
so now, desire expressed.
can be truly dealt with.
and so I type. I type. I type. I stereotype. for I am a 20thcentury white dude born and bred in the states so, 74% racist, at least.
I would love to negotiate a smaller number but the facts don’t lie of the year I was born.
I trust you to kill me.
it’s not a book.
it’s a film.
so what are we dancing around now.
who else do I think of when I’m with you.
the Brazilian we met an hour ago at the bar.
the one that kept glancing at me, and I at her, as we danced.
then she announced her feet on the stool next to me.
I said, you, my friend, was outside smoking.
feet abandoned stool.
black hair ponytail
you say, as fingers dance underneath the blanket, what’s the point of having a cat and not playing with it?
I couldn’t resist.
I had to state the obvious.
the cat walks the tightrope.
always in control.
is my favorite time of day, dusk.
yes, it is.
please, tho, can we not try to describe it.
I’d rather not insult such a great poet.
and the cat, in the corner, licking paws
to clean self
why I haven’t gotten closer.
that shit, is too real.
it feels too much.
I want to pull back the blanket.
you lie under.
in the corner
what’s that party in the street
that’s just horns
in the radio
and I have flashes
Archivist, Poet and Photographer, Tate Swindell is the founder of Unrequited Records, which specializes in poetry records released on the vinyl format. The latest release was an album of rare Gregory Corso readings from the late 1970s that included previously unpublished poems. He recently co-edited the Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman for City Lights Books (2019). Tate, and his brother Todd, worked extensively on the Harold Norse archives, which were donated to the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. He is currently writing a memoir about his experiences as a pioneer in the San Francisco medical cannabis movement. His previous collections of writings include Palpitations, The Creation of Deadlinesand Fotopomes.