MELVILLE IN TANGIERS
I wasted the afternoon gazing at triathletes.
I wandered out to the end of the pier before dinner
but the smell of bacon beckoned me back.
There, before bleary, oversized windows I sat
in insulated jack-books and an oarsman's hat
wondering where all the triathletes had gone.
I had carefully counted them, one by one,
and in my hotel tablet copied down their names.
I knew that at least one of them would find fame.
But alas, at dinner time, not a contender in sight.
Only the smell of fried swine, only watery light,
only me and what appeared to be a bellhop asleep,
a few crooked paintings in brightly-painted frames
and a distant honk of foghorns in the evening deep.
Aaron Belz has "good" poetry forthcoming in 88, Delmar, and March Hares: The Best Poems from Fine Madness 1982-2002; he is working on a Ph.D. at Saint Louis University.