by John Grochalski

my wife
sometimes tells me
about the men
calling out to her
on the way to work

the construction guys
mexican landscapers
in beat-up trucks
the stone hauling gent
at the masonry store

they’re all derelicts, she tells me

nice guys

lonely guys trying to get a smile
out of me

you have nothing to worry about
she says

easy for her to say

i know all about lonely, nice guys

maybe i just get agitated
because i haven’t been hit on
by a woman since 1997

apathy does strange things to the ego

but last week it finally happened
as my wife and i
walked up market street
in san diego

we passed two ancient
homeless women
digging for their dinner
through tourist trash

one of the women
looked up from her can
and said to the other

now, there goes a good looking man

i was the only guy on the street

i just looked at my wife and smiled


acknowledged by the world at large


knowing that i couldn’t pay
for that kind of action
back on the east coast.

John Grochalski lives in Brooklyn, New York.