If in the menís room of our
while blissfully pissing riserva spumante
I punch the wall because I am so old,
I promise not to punch too carelessly.
Our friend Franco cooks
all night and day
to transform blood and bones to osso buco.
He shouldnít have to clean them off his
or worry that a customer gone cuckoo
has mushed his knuckles
like a slugger
whose steroid dosage needs a little tweaking.
My life with you has been beyond beyond
and thereís nothing beyond it Iím seeking.
I just donít want to leave it, and I am
with every silken bite of tiramisu.
I wouldnít mind being dead
if I could still be with you.
Ryan has written four books of poems, an
autobiography, a memoir, and a collection
of essays about poetry and writing. His
New and Selected Poems was published by
Houghton Mifflin and won the 2005 Kingsley
Tufts Poetry Award. He teaches at the University
of California, Irvine. "60th Birthday
Dinner" first appreared in The New