local_library Let’s Review

by Robert Klein Engler

Published in Issue No. nil ~ September, 1997

He will be 21 in September. After dinner he took his sweater off and lounged

in a T-shirt. I have not felt so vulnerable in years…or so old. He drinks

(two bottles of wine with dinner), and smokes (cigarettes). He pees a lot

(see above). All through dinner I wore my silver ring with the fish on it so

I would be strong. He said that beauty for wisdom is a fair exchange. I’m a

Taurus. He’s a Virgo. The cries of animals are more music than words. I

remind him that beauty is beautiful even in autumn. My mind is working

overtime making plans: the concert next week, then St. Louis in April, Spain

maybe. Stop it! Adam, adama, He comes from the ground. Do I trust him? Did

Abraham trust God? He’s read Plato’s Symposium, but not the Tanach. Here

are two metaphors: a flashbulb and a glacier. I am both today. He has never

slept with anyone yet. Come here. Come hear. All of this would not have

happened if we had not talked in the supermarket the other day about Pascal.

There are 600,000 letters in the Torah. The letters do not touch one another,

so too, every man goes his own way. 600,000 came out of Egypt. He came out

of Nebraska. To pray sometimes is to weep. Since meeting him all those others

seem far away. Once you invite a vampire into your house, you can never keep

him out. God rose from the dead and left the world. Coming back again is the

hard part. If the letters of the alphabet would leave us, the world would

fall down. He is a song that breaks the silence of dawn; and far away a flock

of birds flutters into the sky. Contemporary literary theory is nothing more

than the French trying too hard to be English (cf. David Hume.) He says that

when he looks in the mirror he knows he is young, but what does it mean?

This desire is like flying. I have no control over it. I hate it. He said

he will have tracers in his mind for the rest of his life from some of the

drugs. The cactus guards with thorns what little water it gets. Ben is in

love with him, too. Ben studies the great books at St. John’s College. I am

tired of wanting otherwise. The presence of my dead mother broods over my

dreams. We are supposed to meet again next Wednesday. Will the world hold? I

am wounded and need to talk. The snow turns to rain. My desire turns to

words. I stroke his cheek before he leaves. Maranatha.

account_box More About

Robert Klein Engler lives in Chicago. His poems and stories have appeared in several magazines and journals, including: Borderlands, Evergreen Chronicles, Hyphen, The James White Review, and Literal Latte. He was the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award for his poem "Flower Festival at Genzano," which appeared in Whetstone.