since you didn’t phone

What I had wanted was to be chaste,
sober and uncomfortable
for a sprawling episode on a beach somewhere
dirty, perennially out of fashion;
let the smell of cocoa butter drive deep memory wild
as the sun goes down through a bottle of pop
some kid half-left to turn warm in the sand.

The train ride would be long and hot,
and you’ve had it with men,

      I’m sickened by the pronoun.
Tenderness seems as far away as Sioux City,
and besides it would have cost too much.
But you should have called,

if only since a preposterous little bout like this
is just the stuff to scare off friends,
like soaking their laps with corrosive fizz.
And us…
          What an impertinence, us.

We could have played gin rummy and taken a stroll
into town or along the boardwalk, maybe
            with dear old Godzilla
rising one last time
over the horizon at dusk, hurrying us to a place
we never would have dreamt of

Text: Since You Didn’t Phone, August Kleinzhahler
Image: Unknown, 1930s, via tobyotter/Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Very nice, Kenneth, thanks for sharing that one.

    Posted September 19, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

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