Making art in the park, I glue three spoons,
an aspirin cap and the unlucky side of a penny to a burlap sack.
"More neon" intones John Leguizamo.
There is a black shadow shoulder thrust across my work.
It only improves things. I am no artist.
"Weren't you in Moulin Rouge?"
"My father's Puerto Rican, I grew up in Queens,
and was voted Most Talktative in high school.
Now you know everything about me."
He sits down and plucks a blade of grass trailing dew
across paper plates that once held my lunch.
Chicken grease mixes with semi-dry paint splotches.
It makes the air smell less like fall.
His legs are longer than I remember
and his eyes drag lazily up the curve of my hip
as a smile curls knowingly at the left corner of his mouth.
It would be charming but the mustache distracts me.
Mustaches hold long forgotten secrets and long discarded food.
Both are things to be avoided.
My carrot sticks twang orange within their plastic bag
far more orange than the leaves on the Sycamore tree
against which John lay his pack. I ask him if it is full of books,
I ask him why I can't make art,
I ask him if he knows why fall smells better than any other season
and he says that it is the smell of long dried summer sweat.
I think it smells like sheep wool just shorn
but perhaps we are both right.
As he stands he brushes his thumb knowingly across his mustache and winks.
"My nickname is Johnny Legs."
I see art in the creases of his khakis as he walks away.