Who Is Federico?

He plays the strings
of the white chair like a lute,

drums his fingers on the water pipes.
I hear rain on the skylight.

His voice coming over the answering machine
sings to me in long blue shadows

like the white road the moon casts on the sea.
Who is Federico?

His big fish feet can’t fit
into his funky shoes.

He leaves messages— jumbled footprints in mud
wildly dancing in my driveway,

serenades me with jungle rhythms on the doorbell,
then runs away like a kid on Halloween.

Notes to me pinned on trees, bleached out by the sun,
or blurred with rain. Who is Federico?

If anybody knows, tell him this has been a long courtship.
Tell him I am growing old. Tell him: Have courage.

Tell him, like Dorothy Parker,
I never liked a man I didn’t meet.


This poem was published in RUNES Signals, 2005


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