I walked from one end of
this city to the other and saw
sidewalk after sidewalk with
Maufrais etched into it.

Maufrais the maker of concrete,
Maufrais the master of sand
and aligning right corners.


Rick from Travis Heights,
Rick of Vietnam and Austin High,
Rick the one-man mowing company,
made of cords, engines, and gasoline.
I said, “Rick, do you know Maufrais?”
He offered me a cigarette but
my bus was on its way.

At home it is late and quiet.
I am not sleeping, just lying here.
I can hear the low rumble of trucks but it
doesn’t bother me, in want of sleep.


I awake the next morning
to the gleeful bleats
of a garage sale across the street.
Timid myself, I send Lenore over.
It’s just a bunch of junk, she says.

We decide to talk about baby names.
I offer one up and she shoots it down.
No, that name is ruined forever, she says.
In her lap is someone’s baby-book.
Mmm-hm-hm-hm! Look at them
in their dresses and their
cute little shoes.

I remember now that it poured
this morning at 4 a.m. but
I missed it, awake enough only
for an instant, only
enough to realize it was raining.


I offer up another one: Maufrais.
She does not reject it outright saying,
I have no doubts about it myself but
I wonder if the Italians would accept it.

All day I drank coffee,
eventually got so high my
hands were shaking and
I had to eat the leftover casserole.


Outside, Rick is lurking.
When he fires up the lawnmower
lines of poetry
gather on my skin,
like beads of sweat.

For more on Maufrais, try this.

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