The Medusa Cement Company

When the truck went by,
red letters on a white

body caught my eye
and I froze, then cracked,

helpless with laughter,
making other drivers stare.

Who'd come up with a name
like that? A clown? Someone

who knew how it felt to be
petrified and still

could joke about turning
to stone? Or maybe

a novice, a virgin
who had never known

the gorgon face of love
that can stop you

dead in your tracks.
At the next light

I ease alongside, saying
"Hey buddy, give me a break,"

and he grins back as if he knows
whenever I see

a woman's hair in ringlets,
coiled, heaped, I begin

to tingle. I don't even try
to move. All I can do

is wait for the light
to change.

—Carl Lindner, New York City, NY