The Joy Is Everywhere

This coming from a guy who hasn't had sex in a really long time.
Well, had sex five weeks ago, once, with a woman in another state
and it was like visiting The Planetarium.
but you don't go back for another seven years.
And when I saw the planets this morning I was not a genius.
When I heard the birds they were swallows.
It was fifty-two degrees outside
and the joy was everywhere.
And for a long time the sex was everywhere
but seven years and five weeks have passed.
Now, there is only a bowl of apples on the counter
and the hungry body waltzing through today.
That was me in a nutshell yesterday
after the joy was in my knees
and my eye twitched for hours.
I'll tell you, not having sex is a waltz all by itself.
And then all your married friends say,
It's a draft from under the door, sex.
What do they mean?
Still, they are the married friends and ride bikes together
over big hills and into puddles
and their joy is a yellow flower everywhere.
My joy is an unbalanced checkbook,
the bills paid,
the smooth river of my ever-expanding body.
And that woman in the other state, oh,
she tasted so good and had such tropical nipples.
They were mangos or something yellow like that
when I had sex with her five weeks ago.
We won't marry, have farms,
buy cars and jewelry.
We won't talk about pianos or diapers
and we certainly won't ring doorbells.
But even when the moon goes down into nothing
there is joy everywhere
when you are not having sex
and just waltzing for hours on end around the world,
into the furniture, the moon, the space inside your own feet that is everything.

Matthew Lippman


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