I. Over dinner, he tells a story about his younger brother
and one of his younger brother's friends, named Royal:
as stories do about family, this particular story tends
towards a sort of comedy, knee-slapping, as it were,
and head-knocking in reality: but not wishing to spoil
the moment, he focused on a sound like cartoon
coconuts -- TOH -- or that sound's absence,
instead of the pitiable tears of the two little boys,
and on exactly how it is an older brother uses toys
for his amusement (for example, a Big Wheel race
in the basement, and if anyone falls off -- THUMP --
he, always a certain he, becomes a speed bump).
II. When she laughs, it is like something has preceded conscious thinking--
she laughs like a turtle loves its shell.
What he grasps too late, like a man who is sinking
through the ether: he already fell.
III. ... the secret to eggs for dinner is slow cooking,
and, while eating, not overlooking
what waits between books on computer programming
and outdated theories of human evolution
--as if the vagaries of modern flirtation
and workplace ethics have to do with cave-dwelling,
as if we ever lived in caves, or with stalking
wild game (of course there was no 'unwild game'),
over great stretches of savannah, hunters sweating
and hoping for rain, quietly handtalking
about prey in various senses ...
IV. In the video, what the man in the married couple fixes
is scooters, and she is a bookstore clerk.
Over time, although it might not seem to work,
they see, meet, dance, and sing.
(Begun 1 July 2013, perhaps still in progress even more than most poems are. The immediate inspiration was a video of two dear friends pretending to be other people falling in love with each other; bits and pieces are memories, bookshelves, and the odd creeping in of images on their own.)