after Renoir’s The River

By Harrison Wade

Let’s go see a movie, because it’s a classic
and only playing tonight and because it’s too hot

to stay here. We won’t understand it now, 
but might in nine or ten years,

driving home from a friend’s funeral or catching
at our unexpected reflections in 
a window, a knife, a ring, etc.

Let’s drink one or two beers, after, and talk about work
and how tiring it is to be bored and 

how boring it is to be tired. We can catch the streetcar
and get off early, get a slice, get 
sidetracked walking back

to your old apartment. We’ll watch the man who calls it
home now, if he’s left the lights on 
and hasn’t drawn the blinds. His movements won’t

make sense from where we’re standing. On the way,
you can pull at some wild mint

and put a stem in my mouth. I’ll name the taste
of each leaf after dead stars: Monroe and Wong,
Fonda, Robeson, Garbo, etc.

Let’s kiss once on the lips, because this kind of warm
night hurts, because it’s unusual. Then,

I’ll kiss you once again on the ear, and you’ll kiss me
once, again, on the palm.

On the way, almost home by now, I’ll say,
“I really didn’t understand that movie. I really didn’t.” 
You’ll say, “Forget about it. There’s cheese
on your cheek,” and brush it off. “Forget all about it.” 

Harrison Wade is a writer living in Vancouver.