Mark Rubin

The Good in Good Morning

Despite our addiction to yelling
at the New York Post as though
chewing food before noon
is uneventful;  

over the see-through glass casket
whose butter lies in repose,
once firm, now soft
as we are, old hands at being
who we are, like two sunny-
side-ups waiting for Salt and Pepper,
our good friends
who bring out the best in us;
through green, amber and red hearts
of kiwi, mango and plums, plus
a brown sugar tart
from Mirabelles Café on Main;

beyond Bess the cow mooing creamer
staring wistfully at the coffee,
milk spittle fresh on her lips,
a reminder of our need

to hightail it back from predawn    
mischief in dreams; despite, over, through,
and beyond life’s comings & goings,
I welcome each morning I can say,

We are eating breakfast together.


When I feel the handgun pressed
where my heart should be, at first
I’m confused. I think it’s a toy gun 
until I get why it’s there. Thin air
between me and someone’s thought of me
on this midday Brooklyn street
is all there is. It seems I have a choice,
my wallet or my life.  
I’d like more time to think it through,
unsure whose lie I’ve been living. Then
I hear someone say, no problem,
and see myself floating
my wallet to the gunman’s friend
who yanks two twenties and a five.
In that millisecond’s worth of dead
air space that means now what, I remember
what, and ask, Can I have my wallet back?
And receive it back. And because 
in my home it was a big deal to be polite —
our sale complete, our engagement done —
I say thank you, and walk on down the street.

Mark Rubin has published one book of poems, The Beginning of Responsibility (Owl Creek Press). His work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. A past recipient of the Discovery/The Nation Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, he lives in Burlington, VT, where he is a psychotherapist in private practice.



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