march 16, 2007, happy birthday kathy f
you’re fifty, kathy, so of course i’m going to … think of you naked.
it’s what you wanted, yes?
well OK then, yes, i will think of you naked …
and i will think of you in paris …
not writing poetry, necessarily, but breathlessandtalkingfast and … eating;
savouring the taste of something exquisite.
i will think of you in red:
red scarves / red hats / red pants
red shoes / red wine / red lights
red leather / red eyes / red ink
your mouth a triangle of red in a montparnasse cafe,
croissant crumbs on your lip and … heart on your sleeve.
i will think of you naked / i will think of you in red
and i will think of 1957 as a good year for more than just chevys
as i think of the things that connect us:
the blood of the mothers / the sins of the fathers
strokes of the pen / strokes of luck / vincent’s sad strokes on anguished canvas
sunflowers / blue and white irises / cobalt blue plates
blue-black backdrops to starry starry nights
the irises are you, kathy, the starry night is you
banff centre omelettes and kasbar lounge cocktails
icy blue-green rivers to skate away on …
a woman named eunice
and i like the sound of … stroke, stroke / hot cheeks and cool iris
stroke, stroke / autumn colours in vermont
and i’d like to hear more about … kassie boo-boo / the french rugby team
a dead dog named jake (who i never met, but feel like i sort of know)
and yes, kathy, i will think of you in paris
but you don’t necessarily have to be naked / you don’t have to be writing poems
don’t have to be breathless or writhing, talking fast or gushing brilliant …
you don’t even have to be drinking wine / or dancing in red shoes,
but you will most probably be talking a mile a minute / running / skating / climbing …
coming up for air after a marathon swim in a gatineau lake …
writing like a bat out of hell and …
changing the world with your smile
there’s something fishy about fifty, but … fishy, i wishy for you
50 more glorious years in which to be startled, delighted, disarmed.
50 more years of red scarves, red cheeks and red shoes …
and just enough blue to belong.
Happy birthday and fifty more to come. Red and naked in Paris is a vision of something not quite right yet fitting.