Nude Beach

Let’s be clear:
it takes money to get and be here.
And to pay one’s share
for the local security forces
to keep young poor male predators
away from this nominally public shore.
The usual tourist male,
if not his portfolio, is pear-shaped;
wives/matrons look like cornucopias
without a horn. There are occasional pubescents,
bored, stoned, or aghast. The husbands squint at the sea
and quarrel with their phones. Sometimes one stands,
hands on hips, pretending,
like fat men of all classes, to be imposing.

A gorgeous natural redhead
strides, then stops
to gaze at the sea and be stared at.
Some meters away, a stranger,
her opposite number,
stands with his six-pack abs, tight tush,
and the ratio of ego to vulnerability
girls currently favor. He is far
from the booboo of showing arousal but seems
thoughtful. Perhaps they’re agreeing,
telepathically, that they epitomize
and justify the system and
the scene and should get together;
but symbolism is alien to them.

The Isle of Cythera
lies in a lace of waves across the bay,
but tourists won’t embark for it.
It’s steep, its beaches are mud,
sun hot on rock, the rocks contain
crevices that could strain or break
an ankle, and the cacti make nasty pricks.

The Private Sector

Throughout the fall that window showed
new buildings every night,
some distance off, more and more visible
as the leaves fell, lit
as if by augmented moonlight,
and all official. An office block,
mildly brutalist, white;
a Residence someplace poor;
by December, apartments
(the light seemed harsher and the branches swayed)
rented by civil servants.

Though I bore them no ill will,
I closed the blinds when snow fell, wanting
more fanciful architecture –
columns perhaps, repurposed ruins –
and people. Poussin’s
four Dancers to the Music of Time
(I like the smile of the one in blue)
would please. Or girls
who would rap the window, inviting me
at last to CBGB, Studio
54, all those great clubs of the Seventies.