All afternoon I read Thucydides. Now I walk
down the riverbed watching the sun behind Syros,
on my way to wash dishes at the restaurant.
It’s been a week since I’ve talked to anyone,
except the cook who shouts at me
in a language I will never understand.
I keep thinking of Laurie. When I went back last winter,
I called from the airport first, just in case.
It was almost light as I left the 14th Street station,
and slowly moved up 7th Avenue balancing with my bags
on the ice. She must have heard the landlady’s dog barking.
She was standing in the doorway crying.
It was while we were making love that she started hitting me.
I grabbed her arms, but she kept yelling
“You bastard . . . you filthy bastard.”