Where Are You, Osbaldo?

by Bart Edelman

The night twists tighter—
A tourniquet of desire.
And we can’t help but whisper,
Where are you, Osbaldo?
What promises have you made
Nameless hungry women,
Seated at banquet dinners
You do not expect to attend.
How long can you pinwheel
Between each flickering star,
Displaying smile after smile,
Although solitude’s luxury
Confines you to impure thoughts.
One day the clever moon
Will be done with you, forever.
You’ll spin out of control,
In an orbit dawn delivers
To the last available address,
Lurking beside your name.
Mismatched clothes still remain—
Waiting for you to claim—
Yet you’ll never wear them again.


Bart Edelman’s poetry collections include Crossing the Hackensack (Prometheus Press), Under Damaris’ Dress (Lightning Publications), The Alphabet of Love (Red Hen Press), The Gentle Man (Red Hen Press), The Last Mojito (Red Hen Press), The Geographer’s Wife (Red Hen Press), and Whistling to Trick the Wind (Meadowlark Press). He has taught at Glendale College, where he edited Eclipse, a literary journal, and, most recently, in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. His work has been widely anthologized in textbooks published by City Lights Books, Etruscan Press, Fountainhead Press, Harcourt Brace, Longman, McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, Thomson/Heinle, the University of Iowa Press, Wadsworth, and others. He lives in Pasadena, California.

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