Love comes in at the eye…

-W.B. Yeats

Whisked away by parents who fled Fidel from Habana to Halifax,

he’s lonely as the last loon to leave the indigo hills of the Bras d’Or Lakes.

As autumn winds scatter falling leaves, he heaves a sigh, heads for Nueva York,

wandering aimlessly through crowded streets at the Feast of San Gennaro.

A stone-faced software designer plunked in the stillness of a cubicle

like a dead weight, tentacle hooks of unwanted solitude pierce his bones.

As soundless days pass, he’s afraid he’ll forget how to speak

mired in the moil of a speechless heart.

He devours self-help books but never learns how to make a friend.

Incarcerated in his own skin, he faces days as slate-gray as a prison wall.

A dozing therapist who keeps nodding off, suggests he cultivate the art of looking

and search for a mate in museums, where a lack of riff-raff makes women feel safe.

With eyes wide open he longs for the elixir of love, infatuated with the “Ooh la la!”

of the Can-Can dancers of the Moulin Rouge.

Yearning for the rapture of romance, the flaming whoosh and whoop he’s read about

in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, he slides up and down the ramp of the Guggenheim,

peers at Klee and Kandinsky, and in a moment of synaesthesia is flummoxed hearing

a toy piano, piccolo and tambourine. Roaming the halls of the Met and Frick he barely

glances at Rembrandts and Vermeers, missing the gaze of Caravaggio’s gentleman

concentrating on the beautiful eyes of the fortune teller.

He hides in his looking, half-dazed eyes scrutinize good lookers, always taken.

He hovers around ordinary faces, arriving in clusters. With phallus erect, he hums

the same tune off key, breathing as heavily as the wheeze of bellows fanning a dying fire.

Alarmed ladies summon security, report being stalked by a skulker.

Confronted, he becomes a living statue, mute as a bronzed mime

on the Piazza della Signoria, implacably leering, rigid forever,

always an observer, never a participant.