My Studio
A garage we called garaggio,  
ten-by-twenty-two, with a peaked roof.  
You painted the plywood floor sky blue  
with a long-handled roller from Land’s End  
True Value. With the ceiling fan, a mild breeze  
always blew, though when the tide was in,  
the wind would do. For my desks, two flush doors  
you painted white, on wrought-iron stands,  
solid, true. Homasote walls you painted  
white, too, and seven small windows all new  
that opened and closed. I hung bamboo  
shades to block the bay view (distracting  
for me as it was for you—its marine clichés,  
its colorful hullabaloos.) Then I push- 
pinned my old poster of Van Gogh’s room  
at Arles, butter yellow, poppy red, cool  
blues, and a photo of Elvis the Jew— 
not really a Jew but a shabbos goy  
who, Saturdays, as a nice Memphis boy  
lit gas pilots for his frum neighbors,  
and opened their flues (when he died 
the rebbetzin broke down and wept—it’s true!)  
Three flea market lamps; one bookcase from  
Staples, brand new, Assembly Required  
asked too much first of me, then of you.  
When we stood it up, its sides were firm- 
ly askew. Without much to-do I wrote  
three books. If we had regrets, they were 
very few. Now I know we were the paper,  
we were the glue. I’m still at my desks, it’s all  
I can do by our little dream house at dusk  
when the bay turns lavender, without you.  
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