Posted by: spickering | May 7, 2007

H.J.M./V.R.Y. (A Poem)

The telephone.
The middle of the frozen street.
Walking miles in the screaming snowstorm
For a cheeseburger, with a dead Pontiac Grand Prix in the background,
But warmer than all the down blankets in Norway
With the thought of you.
A red car racing away with my dreams.
A black top blocking my view.
Deep, dark, ocean like eyes
That photos couldn’t capture,
But my heart could.
A smile like a rose.
Rooftop kiss, cool night air, and the Moon smiling.
Drinks and the bar.
The grand hotel below
A few blocks away from where they got Kennedy.
And then I was whisked away by that rushing river far south of Dallas,
Far south of Austin even,
And you blinked at me from atop a skyscraper
With your emerald eyes filled with sparkles
Of Pouilly Fuisse .
Then lonely bus ride back to the beginning.
Of the long, embarrassing message,
That innocence could not cut through.
The empty campus after graduation. Hot and bright. Everyone scattered.
You’re roommate, the little feisty blond,
Who liked to party with my friends.
After you had left, I spoke to her underneath the glass coffee table,
But I don’t know what we said.
The cookies.
Breakfast in bed.
The airport.
Unable to tell P. or S. before they left. It didn’t matter anyway. They would have laughed.
But that was fine. That was their job. That was part of everything. I wouldn’t have wanted them
Them any other way.
John throwing up in my car after leaving the bar.
Zipping down the Toll-way with Morrissey’s melodies gliding on the streetlights
About what you said… And how I felt…I knew the music,
and the booze, and the living on the edge
And it would get me there. Or so I felt.
But I couldn’t pull it all together.
Phi Delta Mixer.
Taco Bell at 3am.
A light in your eye
Born in a star.
Strange, how having it fall apart seemed so delightful, like affirming the World
Was a mystery. That was your gift. I still have it.
Falling in love back before it was cool.
Now, that, for 14 weeks
Was living.

Sometimes when I go back
and I pass my gray apartment where that poor cat I thought I rescued from the Piggly Wiggly
Parking lot, was run over by those drunk sophomores,
And I walk through the neighborhood elms and oaks, and cherry blossums,
And green gum ball leaves shaking by your little red brick house,
Sometimes when I drive down that street, like driving into a dream,
I think I hear the trees, and the leaves and the wind and the sunshine all whispering,
In a barely heard murmer, unintelligible to this brain that wants to form words,
A murmer of the heart,
What it is that you were trying to say.

-Stephen Pickering © 2007

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