Monday, February 14, 2011

Carrie's Valentine's Day Poems, #3 of 3


She still calls you,
quarterly and on holidays
when her latest has left her 
or vice versa
you always knew
she went through men
like paper, stockings, islands

will you have coffee with me
will you fix my car, my front door lock, 

my life

and still you go running
to sit in her fluorescent kitchen
at the hopeless Ikea table you assembled 3 years ago
 drink that fermented tea that leaves you both tipsy
giving you the courage
  to explain to her again how it could never work:
the two of you together

how she is somehow
too much of everything
hypertensive, hyperactive,
runs with gusto, leaving everyone behind
lunches on cocoa nibs and lettuce
is always seeking electrolytes
does the wash daily with eco cleanser
cuts her hair in strange angles
so she looks different in every photo  
that you have of her

she remembers to forget
forgets to remember
all significant occasions

but really, here's the thing:
she promises you everything,
then disappears

tonight at this neon fish house on NJ 17
with the deco bar and electric lobsters 
clawing in their tank,
primeval and freakish
like bad special effects
you sit with your bib and whiskey, 
both a child and a man
talking slower then you need to 
say you are getting over her, gradually
easing off the clutch, the crutch, 
 rolling to a stop

that her photos are now face down in some box in your closet
the lyrics to your favorite car songs
mostly forgotten
that in your nightmares about nuclear war
I'm the one you're looking for
those final moments
you will reach for me
you would reach for me

when all is done and said
when all is said and done
you draw me the outline of a crooked flower on the dinner table
with brown crayon
a house, a tree
your idea of domesticity
everything reduced to its lowest form

with your new found maturity
you take my hand
want to know where we stand

I tell you
I am sensible and neat
I am cautious
I stay still

we may be each others
lowest common denominator

I may fill in your lines 
but I don't promise you a thing

it's OK-
you can feel good

this is love, in a sense.

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