Thursday, July 07, 2016

I Couldn't

“First, she told me
her name was Ashley.
The next time
it was Brandee,
and then,
it was Millicent.

She was young
and firm
and flexible,

with clear blue eyes,
and a nape made
for her
long
blonde
hair.

I kept feeding
her singles
and she ate
like a dirty city pigeon,
out of my hand.

I‘d have her lean in
as I pretended to listen
over the mix of
rap-metal
and classic rock,
but I was actually
breathing in her
heady mixture of
stage perfume and
overpriced alcohol.

I learned
she dropped out
of school when
she got pregnant.

She told me
she had the kid,
and a pimp,
and a coke habit,
as she slid her
lingerie’d torso
up against mine,
straddling me
during one of the
many table dances
she performed
under those predictable
red and purple
pin lights.

And I wanted
to rescue her,
to take her away
from all that decay,
to tell her
I loved her
and that I would
always take care
of her,

but I couldn’t.

So, eventually
I left that
smudge
of a town,

and told everyone
when I arrived home,

the agency was wrong,

and she wasn’t
our long-lost
second-cousin.

Now,
I just wish
I could
forget her.”

[For Fireblossom Friday @ With Real Toads ]

8 comments:

  1. It must be a guy thing! She doesn't sound like the kind to make Nat King Cole sing about her, but love--and stuff--is in the eye of the beholder, or somewhere slightly south of that. I'd say you're well clear of her, if indeed she isn't just made up.

    la la, dear Mosky. la la.

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  2. Wow, what a story. I understand the wish to rescue. I did the same with my last baby's daddy, but he never could shake off the bar scene, or the low life, and (thankfully) returned to it quite soon. You made me see her, and see her hard life. Sometimes the deck is just stacked too darn high.

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  3. What strikes me most is the authenticity of the voice in your poem. Your images are stark without being glaring - I love the one comparing the girl to a city pigeon. There is something bitter sweet in the tale of doomed love.

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  4. I can feel a pain, that she is more, but saving is impossible - but just maybe you would flare together if you get close. What an impossible situation

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  5. and she ate
    like a dirty city pigeon,
    out of my hand.

    That is genius--great voice in this poem as Kerry says, authentic and also quite subtle in its way. Does the guy really know anything at all here, or does he know everything?

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  6. Sounds like the tale of a city. I can see the garish lights, and feel the desperation in this. Wonderful, B.

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  7. It may be fictional – but also too often true.

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  8. Millicent is the funniest stripper name I've ever heard. :)

    "She was young
    and firm
    and flexible,

    with clear blue eyes"

    This is my favorite part. :)

    Love:
    "I kept feeding
    her singles
    and she ate"

    Great sound/rhythm in this:
    "I‘d have her lean in
    as I pretended to listen"

    "under those predictable
    red and purple
    pin lights" ... I like this too.

    "And I wanted
    to rescue her" ... This is such smart writing. Because of that line break, you're saying everything you understand about her: that when she is desired, she feels saved. That's all you can give her: your craving. That makes her feel better.

    "and that I would
    always take care
    of her" ... Funny line break after "would." :)

    Great ending.

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