A tall selection of roses arrived at my door, a dozen. I knew

they had not come from you, not your style, yet ardor rose up from them

nonetheless like a scent I could associate with you, and it was you

I thought about as I admired the thornless arrangement, the still-live stalks

so towering and greenly built, the tight buds, sepals, blossoms generous,

bleeding out and lush scarlet of their curved petals led me to think

of my crush on you though you are not an Argentine physician and

did not deposit roses at my door though you might as well have

because it was you they made me think about and not the man

responsible for the extravagant arrangement with a card attached

inscribed cleverly. I opened (rather) un-packing those red

blooms and entered (rather) submerged their green stems into blue glass. In my

excitement I forgot to add water. Sure, I admit, I like el medico well

enough–what’s not to like? Though I thought once or

twice of becoming a doctor I never wanted to marry one and

after all it’s not him I have a crush on but you, you! I noticed while

reading Art of Love in bed last night I kept thinking about you. Not even

Ovid's tips on hair and makeup could release the grip that thinking of you

had on my mind as you entered my thoughts because I have a crush on you.

I rose from the bed. I twisted the faucet. I put on your music. I

entered a hot bath. Embedded in a white heat built of steam and soap, I

nearly floated away as, rapt, taken by storm or song I listened,

spirited away by virtue or force of this terrific crush I have

on you. So what I need from you now is a sign. Send

me some sign. Should you and I find ourselves thrown together whether in fine

company of comrades or strangers, simply touch your cheek with your hand and

I will understand that my desire is double-winged and capable

of flight. Air-worthy, if you will. Cross your legs three times in as many

minutes; immediately following that, lay your long fingers softly

upon the more elevated of your two knees. From such gesturing I

shall infer you’re willing to recline with me before the warm various

light my snapping hearth brandishes as January snow floats and falls and

night wind rattles the pane in the broad window glass. O, you're adorable.

Are you unattached? O, I have a crush on you. If the crush is mutual,

you will need to let me know. You must let me know. O, Yes. Now. Next time we

meet in a crowd, place a finger upon your ear, which shall reveal your desire to

savage me on the Brooklyn Promenade. We’ll wear coats and take turns drowning

in the milky spray Manhattan's East River sky of light adorned with strands

throws off. Remember when we rode southbound in the back seat of a cab heading

downtown?  What a quick and magical patch of physics that was? Nocturne plus

voluptitude divided by locomotion. It wasn't a long ride,

but there was a wallop. I felt it bleed. It cut through the dark wool of our

winter-weight overcoats in the back of the auto. So near sat I to

the object of my innocent crush in the dark. It was nothing really,

just delicious, a trifle sublime as it was ordinary. The simple

element of tobacco nice somehow on your breath gave me a charge as

did the sigh your overcoat and engine muffled. Should we meet again at

some festival or convention, dip your finger in your wine as you scan

the room in search of my glance. Wait, until you have my eyes. When you do, look

shyly, blithely slyly, down in that bashful way that drives me wild and I

shall know by this you harbor, nurture and nurse a crush too. Should you light a

cigarette at this tender juncture in our seductive pas de deux I

will be sure to gaze upon that full mouth of yours knowing it is just a

matter of time before fortune delivers me the mighty thrill of bearing

witness as you disrobe slowly for effect. Furthermore I hope for this

additional sign: Should we encounter one another in some populated spot, I’ll wait

for you to extend salutations in Latin. This may require some

preparation beforehand. I assure you I am worth it. Addressing me

in the tongue of Caesar, will convince me you do want to vanquish and haul

me off to Gaul. A little something from Art of Love would suffice nicely.

Did you Know Ovid studied law? But I do not get crushes on guys who practice law.

No Jurists need apply. No jurists leave roses outside my door. No, I

have a crush on you.  It’s you I have a crush on. Therefore, if, at a dinner

party, I should witness as you touch a napkin to your lips and laugh

before glancing my way, I shall know you have succumbed to the never say

die the ripeness of my flesh and will intuit a desire on your part

to perch half-naked on my green couch savoring a bowl of macaroni

I whipped up for you: cheese, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, oil, prosciutto. O What

dreamy pleasure I envision—to watch you (bare-chested) gobble my fare!

How fascinating your mastication will be. Enchanted, I will lift

the bowl from your hands, lay my cheek against your belly... I have a crush on

you. O to peel you like an orange. A terrific crush. You're adorable.

Are you unattached? Next time we meet in the agora  use the words

"echo" and "breast" in a single sentence, loud enough to make out. Arrange to be

sufficiently proximate as you rise to this occasion. Graze my forearm

with the tip of your forefinger as a form of friendly punctuation

and surely I shall swoon and rest in the certainty that you have a crush

on me too, inferring, of course, that this new devotion drives your desire

to make love to me in your car. What a thrill they were when they came, but I

apologize, I forgot to hydrate them. In benign neglect, I

managed to further deaden the fresh killed blooms. The following morning, their

limp heads hanging low from tall craning stems and their lanky twelve-fold drooping

posture put me in mind of you on whom I have a crush. Their luster was

undiminished by thirst. A worldly man who blushes is charming to behold.

O, have I a crush on you! I tried warm water. Yes, warm water which I

remembered was good for reviving fresh-severed blooms, but I came too late

for the petals had loosened. The seal of the sepal had been broken. I

love that stage, the broad self-dismantling and penultimate splaying of

the velvet item no longer young but all rose, a concentration of

rose, rose nonetheless, rose through and through, whereby the bud relaxes and falls

open wide. What an appetite for yourmusic I enjoy. How I crave

your flesh. How sweet am I on your mellifluous mind, the thorn your wit is,

your voice, pleasant as it was in the cab that night projecting questions through

bullet-proof glass: “Are you from Egypt?” “Oh, Syria.” “Do you miss it?” You

and I sat side by side in coats. An extraneous third passenger sat

on my right unaware she was intruding upon our great passion as

I rode the hump and gravity pushed against the wool of which our garments

were woven, entering me circa the shoulder, driving its charge straight toward

my chest, where full of percussive force it stood poised to bust open my

heart like a seed case. Sunday evening, soft snow eased from the Heavens, came down,

the earth pulling its faint weight down in tungsten light. I watched out my window.

You were not so very far away. Not so far you couldn’t walk to the

phone. Go to the phone. Is calling out of the blue too much to desire? I'm

not normally one to sit by the phone, but that voice of yours, it eats at me.

How to sink my teeth into you? Do you like nylons, pumps and that sort of

thing? Do you like to make love with Puccini on? If “yes” is your answer

to more than one of the above, when next we meet, I hope to spy you

removing your spectacles in an apparent effort to clear up your

corrective glass but really it will be a clandestine projectile signal, an arrow

aimed my way. If you do send this arching billet doux I will construe that

missive as a wish to fly with me to Paris. O the duration of

the life of the blossom of our love will not be long, but it will be red.

If, returning the eyewear to your face you should be moved to say a word or two

in French, or should you, alternatively and perchance venture a remark

about weather with rain in the forecast, it shall be clear you wish to know

more about the plan involving Paris I have cooked up and I shall be

forced to deduce you do wish to wake up beside me in Paris, where I’ll

shower you with Fleurs du Mal in those exquisite pauses that punctuate

our combustions as we lie almost too close for comfort in a bumpy

lit matrimonial a double--not even a Queen--in the Marais,

my favorite part, from The Death of Lovers—about angels opening

doors, restoring dead fire. Just say the word "oui" and we can meet to discuss

particulars as they relate to accommodations, scheduling and

costs. Once we find ourselves in the City of Light, let us locate a boîte

like the spot to which a dashing Algerian philologist took me

some fifteen years ago, where a couple of thinkers in love for a night

might sink down in burgundy cushions, sip cognac, smoke, and laugh as we neck

amid naive artists and anarchists young enough to be our children.