Jacques J. Rancourt New Year's, Sonoma Coast

We drive up

the coast. It's your birthday.

It's New Year's.

An occasion to reflect

on your goodness.

I wanted a cabin

in the redwoods. A place

where sap oozes

from burls onto

roofs. There's an ocean

we can hear it

but the fog does not

burn off & the foghorn blares

indistinctly. Just yesterday

the demonstrator

in the city: AIDS was not a disease,

it was the cure. Mostly we stay

in bed shoulder-blades

to chest. Sometimes

we drink red wine. Eat cereal.

Sometimes sex.

You touch my skin

& it prickles. The heart paces

in places. Winds down

temporarily. We watch a row

of turkeys drill down a hill

& tumble

to the bottom. You get up

to piss. When I can't picture

their faces bruised

like film negatives

from light I give them each

your name.

From the bathroom

you cough phlegm into

a blue, porcelain bowl.

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