Alan Kaufman

Courtyard Night

for Ilka Scobie

I can’t bear to remember
What I’m unable to forget.
The hem of the green
Curtain lifted, just enough
To show between the legs
Of the room.
The bed undone, rumpled,
Stained with lamp light.
Day peers in, leers, waits.
Then,  night
Like a beat cop chases
The perv off.  And by
an adjusting hand, the curtain
drops, the hand vanishes inside and
Her moans fill the courtyard.
My dog and I in our own lonely
Dark, lie awake, listening, Miles Davis
On, his piercing horn, and from
The window across the way
The woman’s
Wet piercing cries.
I have sometimes seen her
Leave the building.  She
has clever eyes. I can imagine
Her face, tortured by pleasure.
I can imagine what he is doing,
And close, and close,
And close

Alan Kaufman is recognized in the poetry world for his streetwise collection Straight Jacket Elegies. He edited the influential "Outlaw Bible" Series of literature anthologies, and is best known in the larger world for his memoir Jew Boy. He has also authored a second acclaimed memoir, Drunken Angel. He spent time on a kibbutz in Israel and served as a combat soldier in the Israeli army (IDF) in two wars, an experience he recorded in his novel Matches.His latest publication is The Berlin Woman, a novel. He lives in San Francisco.