i’ve been going to
this little italian place for years

in the gaslight district
of my old neighborhood

the food
perfect

the wait staff
impeccable

i have dined with everyone whom i love there

the owner
dark olive oil beautiful
knows my every secret

he’s developed a habit over time
of smiling
as he nods with suspicious eyes
at my male
dining companions

save one

as he brought the check
to the window seat table
full of ludlow street evening light

he leans over
into the greek sea god’s
poetry refined ears

and whispers
all naples and sex

hey man,
i’ll hold her down for you

i winked at them
before consulting
my double of makers mark neat

and thought
well it’s about god damn time
i start living right