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Sorrow

Solemn Emotions No Longer Concealed

I pranced into the Teacher’s Center at Spinoza HS
the snow already drifting from heaven
my heart soaring,22 inches predicted.
Felice McLaughlin and Frank Tropp
sat on the couch
I pulled up a chair and joined them saying,
“God loves this world
and all souls dwelling within its mystery.”
“Cut the bullshit, Bernstein, ” said Felice,
“you’re an atheist.”
“Buddhist, ” I corrected her.
“The eternal illusion of male perfection—same shit.”
Well, Felice, a beautiful but bitter woman
the husband she had loved and nurtured for 12 years
run off with another man leaving a note saying,
“It’s now or never.”
Tropp said, “I like that line, Felice,
can I use it in my poetry? ”
“You can wipe your ass with it three times
for all I care, ” she said.
“Sorry, ” said Tropp,
“but I had a bad day yesterday
dumped another shrink, fourth one this year.”
“Worthless scum.”
“I’m trying, ” said Tropp, his face downcast.
“The shrinks, I’m talking about, ” said Felice.
“Yeah, ain’t that the truth.”
“What happened? ” I asked Tropp.
“I told my shrink I’d finally downloaded
my goal of ten thousand porno pictures
and he said, Enough
Is that legal I responded,
because in my voluminous
reading of the psychoanalytical literature
a shrink listens, not pontificates.
Tropp he said you’re a smart fellow
too smart, unfortunately that’s just
another aspect of your illness.
Then I glanced at my watch
another loser I said to myself, thinks he knows it all.
I said Time’s up
Ten minutes left he said
I threw the cash on the couch and left.”
Felice stared at Tropp, her eyes, to me,
sad, but couldn’t be sure. “Why so much porno? ”
“No love and lonely, ” he said.
I stared outside as the billion bits of pure snow
descended lovingly upon Brooklyn, creating beauty
when I heard Felice whisper, “Should have murdered
him in his sleep.”

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Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

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