Still Water Prose Poems

Copyright @ 1989 by Arthur Garfunkel
ISBN 0-525-24795-5
Used by permission of Author - All Rights Reserved


Two Japanese teenage boys - one, the attraction, the
other, attracted, walked in sundown's afterglow
around Tokyo. Having no better place to go, I
turned around and followed them.

Maybe I am the attracted one - a stand-in beside the
thin frame of the favored youth, as it glided within
Hawaiian cotton that slid against his skin. No, his
beauty must be featured in the feelings of his friend.

At the end of the street, a red light brings me closer
to them. We wait (Where are we going?). I look into
the crook behind the underarm of the chosen one,
the taller of the pair, when the shorter brings his
shoulder there - the finest point of contact, hardly
aware, a hush...the unbearable lightness of being
there, witness to the blush, the leaning in, Zen-
gentle letting him.

The boy whose wardrobe is trying too hard adores
his mate, and I can't help but empathize. Running
down the ribcage and the tenderness of the inner
arm, I feel the straddling security in the lengthening
stoplight swoon...the permanent stain of affection
as something I recognize.

TokyoAugust 1985