Entry November 12, by Walter Benton

February 14, 2008

I waited years today…one year for every hour,

all day– though I knew you could not come till night

I waited … and nothing else in this God’s hell meant anything.

I had everything you love — shellfish and saltsticks … watercress,

black olives. Wine (for the watch I pawned), real cream

for our coffee. Smoked cheese, currants in port, preserved wild cherries.

I bought purple asters from a pushcart florist and placed them where

they would be between us —

imagining your lovely face among them…

But you did not come … you did not come.

You did not come. And I left the table lit and your glass filled —

and my glass empty … and I went into the night, looking for you.

The glittering pile, Manhattan, swarmed like an uncovered dung heap.

Along the waterfront

manlike shapes all shoulders and collar walked stiffly like shadow figures.

Later, the half moon rose.

Everywhere the windows falling dark.

By St. Mark’s church, under the iron fence, a girl was crying. And the old

steeple was mouldy with moonlight, and I was tired … and very lonely.



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