Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kelley Jean White- Three Poems

It was the night Bobby McCall thrust his tongue between my teeth
It was the storm that carried every firefly and sparkler from the July sky
It is the language that he spoke, pants rolled up, dipping into sand along a beech
It was the card game where I lost each piece of clothes to a lost hand
It was the party that followed that election at Jan and Leo’s house
It was the music that blared from every fading radio in the night ballfield
It was the fight when I kicked McCall in the groin with his own leather boots
It was the laughter that came from my bedroom and a broken turntable
It is the dream in which they all lived into this century
It is the bag filled with baby teeth and buttons, Chinese take out
It is the reason I went back to that bridge alone
It is the reason we wept
at the loss of the election           that never was
We weren’t listening. If we had we might
have heard Barbra Streisand singing ‘The Main
Event,’ or Earth, Wind and Fire, ‘After
the Love Has Gone.’ Yeah, ‘You Can’t Change That’, ‘Sad
Eyes,’ ‘Lead Me On;’ but we were busy, bright
days ahead—this was a wedding day,
a day for dancing, a day for laughter,
for ‘I’ll Never Love This Way Again,’ not ‘Bad
Girls,’ (although your Gram loved Donna Summer.)
I thought ‘Heaven Must Have Sent You,’ and ‘Good Times’
but I should have had ‘Suspicions,’ we weren’t
‘Gold.’ I thought I’d be no ‘Lonesome Loser.’
I thought we’d never come to say ‘Goodbye
Stranger.’ I should have heard Johnny Cash singing ‘Hurt.’
you brought the couch back
cushion by cushion
from the dumpster
beside the student-gutted apartments
cut strips and superglued
until you had a new cover
for the dog’s favorite chair
and then the sky darkened
and you asked me
if it was a thunderhead
I said almost lightning
and the dog left for a safer place
gave her fixed up seat to me
she knew the signs—electricity
and I left you
when the night swallowed
what used to be your

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