yes

no matter who I’m with
people always say,
are you still with her?

my average relationship lasts
two and one half years.
with wars
inflation
unemployment
alcoholism
gambling
and my own degenerate nervousness
I think I do well enough.

I like reading the Sunday papers in bed.
I like orange ribbons tied around cat’s necks.
I like sleeping up against a body that I know well.

I like black slips at the foot of my bed
at 2 in the afternoon.
I like seeing how the photos turned out.

I like to be helped through the holidays:
4th. of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving,
Christmas, New Year’s.
they know how to ride these rapids
and they are less afraid of love than I am.

they can make me laugh where professional comedians
fail.

there is walking out to buy a newspaper together.

there is much good in being alone
but there is a strange warm grace in not being alone.

I like boiled red potatoes.

I like eyes and fingers better than mine that can
get knots out of shoelaces.

I like letting her drive the car on dark nights
when the road and the way have gotten to me,
the car radio on
we light cigarettes and talk about things
and now and then
become silent.

I like hairpins on tables,
on the floor.
I like knowing the same walls
the same people.

I dislike the insane and useless fights which always
occur
and I dislike myself at these times
giving nothing
understanding nothing.

I like boiled asparagus
I like radishes
green onions.
I like to put my car into a car wash.
I like it when I have ten win on a six to one
shot.
I like my radio which keeps playing
Shostokovitsch, Brahms, Beethoven, Mahler.

I like it when there’s a knock on the door and
she’s there.

no matter who I’m with
people always say,
are you still with her?

they must think I bury them in
the Hollywood Hills.