Friday, June 26, 2015
Saw him at a party, left for the world wowed, scrawled
smart-ass postcards all summer long: "nothin could be finah
than to board an ocean linuh in the mawning..." "At the Coliseum
watched lions maul Christians... We are appalled..."
"We're in Pompeii; something bad has happened here..."
He loved the postcards before he loved me. Next summer
was green as peacock feathers, and nothing stalled.
We romped in rivers, played guitars till morning
blanched the sky, tramped through emerald woods to the bald
of peaks, no complaints of torn shirts, pricked fingers,
when we picked blackberries. He passed the crowd
of others. No bad moons, snakes, mosquitoes. No poison ivy.
I'd tear my body from his before daylight bawled
us out for picnicking, breast-stroking those crowded seas: beer
and bourbon. I didn't know what it was called
to wake with woodsmoke in my hair, head bursting loud.
He felt like home; I wanted us to be avowed, called
to the same destiny. My pulse leapt to catch his eye
across any room. I steadied him when floors undulated,
he me after the heat of family brawls. His family didn't yell.
The day our hands let go, and I sprawled away,
into a solitary orbit, was forty years
from when he first bowed and snatched my heart
standing on my front porch, a boy enthralled.