I saw Mick Jagger once
with his girlfriend at a café two tables away
from where my mother and I were eating lunch.
“Mick Jagger!” I blurted under my breath,
as if I’d just arrived from the sea floor.
My mother was eating a wedge of cantaloupe
in her manner—
first, the silver knife under the flesh,
but leaving the severed pieces to rest
in place on the rind, then
a series of precise vertical cuts,
rhombus chunks of melon
a small clutch of passengers
shoulder to shoulder in the boat of rind.
I told my mother I’d secretly taken a cellphone picture
of Mick and his girlfriend
and felt bad about being so selfish.
Not selfish on purpose, mother said,
but I replied, Yes, on purpose.
But not really meaning to be selfish, she said,
but me saying, Yes, I was,
until she said, We are not selfish, dear.
Peter Schireson divides his time between California and New York. His poems have been published in Post Road, Quiddity, Hotel Amerika, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pleiades, and other journals. His chapbook – “The Welter of Me & You” – won the Coal Hill 2013 Chapbook Prize.