No longer do I crave mariscos at Las Palmitas

with a belly full of Andalusian wine, dancing

the cachuca beneath a moonlit sky blanketed

with luminous stars shining through a latticed

concord grape arbor in the restaurant’s

gardenia- filled garden.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday blur, merging

into ordinary days, no longer waiting to see

what’s playing at the Rialto on Saturday night.

Home is now so sweet, no more yackking,

popcorn smelling audience yahoos gumming up

movie seats, just my honey and I cozy in bed,

wide eyed before a flat plasma HDTV screen

inundated with the embrace of surround sound

and closed captions when one of us wants to snooze.

Every day a vacation day, breakfast in bed, scrounging

sunny-side-up or eggs-Benedict, lounging around

sun poured honey-coated beams of translucent light,

a scene as sublime as Vermeer’s captured stillness.

I massage back neck, ears and ten little toes,

she pin points meridian metatarsal pathways

on the soles of my feet, triggering, and jiggering

spasms of muscles and tendons in my Achilles heel.

No more costume parties with Dracula biting her neck while

she belly danced as Queen of Sheba or when we all wore vintage

clothes, cranked up a wind up victrola, vamping to:

“I’ll be down to get you in a taxi honey…”or

“Take good care of yourself, you belong to me.”

On New Years eve in 1967 we sat stock still, stunned by Sgt. Pepper’s

strange new contours, dreaming of Lucy’s rocking horse people

eating marshmallow pies, sampled the Liquid Theatre in the city,

and as the sun rose over the Hudson, monitored the parade

of transgressive burghers from Queens leaving Plato’s Retreat,

tempted but too shy to sample the boundaryless pleasures

in the sticky basement of the Ansonia hotel.

Those were the days when Acapulco-Gold inspired

improvised dance, neighbors falling in love with neighbors

as divorce raged like wildfire up and down the block.

Sole survivors reminisce about the casualties of love gone astray.

Milton P. Ehrlich 199 Christie St. Leonia, N.J. 07605