Peter and I ran away together
When we were young, we
Rented a cheap room in Hell’s Kitchen and
Worked together at Brentano’s for $1.65 an hour
Minimum wage. We
Listened to jazz every night out on 47th street.
He wrote poetry about me
I drew portraits of him.
We had no money because our families were angry
About our precipitous love
And cut us off
But we were happy because
We felt like bohemian outlaws
Sleeping close to one another on a dirty mattress on the floor.
You have to understand
That Peter was raised in a stately mansion on Long Island
And I grew up in an apartment on the Grand Concourse
With wall-to-wall carpets.
Poverty was as good as a circus.