She laughed until she cried
Then remembered how sad she was
in the darkness of a full moon
the signs point
to remind me of something
I instinctually know–
and yet I feel anger towards them
their parental condescension
in aim of my headlights
reflecting their warning back towards me
unaware of the tone or color of their message:
I breathe these lanes,
they course through me like my own veins
and to navigate them is as ingrained
as taking a step—
yet here I sit in life
at a crossroads
wishing for a sign
3 years of French
Wanted to learn to windsurf
Dylan on 90210
Teen Spirit on my
Newly hairy armpits
Hated showers after
Because I was the first
To have breasts and
Everyone wanted to see
Andrew chased us
Up the coast
Moved back to KY
My friends were all punks
Complete with leather
And foot high mohawks
They introduced me to
X and The Cramps
Saw The Smithereens
At Stakes Day at Red Mile
Loved graphic arts
Found Guns N’ Roses
On my own
Moved the next county over
Everyone else came
Six years earlier
saw Christian bands
In church basements
Metallica at Rupp
L7 and Wool at Bogart’s
Always wanted to go
To The Wrocklage
Tornado on senior night
Dyed my hair
at the old movie house
with my kids on a summer afternoon
the smell of popcorn, our fingers
sticky as the floor, all the chocolate eaten before the Wurlitzer’s final chords die and the lights dim the celluloid orchestra swells a foreshadowing medley and then the opera spills overdressed hothouse flowers into Covent Garden where native violets defy mud and rain and a gentleman is actually revealed by his conduct rather than the cadences of his tongue
Ways to Make Your First Date Awkward
1) Show up late. To your own house. (To your own life).
2) Open with the worst story (about the worst moment) of your life.
3) Cook tuna with sweet potatoes (she can’t stand the tuna).
4) Ask which films are John Hughes (the question’s unforgivable…).
5) (…while digging that hole deeper) forget and burn sweet potatoes.
6) Admit you quit Pulp Fiction not even halfway through.
7) Forget to empty the litterboxes (too late; she’s already here).
8) Empty the litterboxes (no, not now, while she’s here)
9) Kiss goodnight on the stoop (that’s sweet but…John Hughes).
10) Forget to re-read this list (well before she’s actually here).
Ways to Improve First Date Chances
1) Be You.
2) Show up.
Can a girl wear red on her wedding day?
Such a scandal would weigh heavy
Against convention. Why Red?
New starts should employ symbols,
Not white lace or promises, but real.
Day was hot, lunch bell about to ring,
He laughed and offered a bite of a red
Popsicle in his strong fingers, a wink
Justifiying his not so shy grin
He was next year up, cool, jaunty.
Trying not to, but failing, I kept staring
At lanky length, curly hair, green eyes.
Despite knobby knees, barked shins,
Stringy hair and a broken tooth, a dream
Inside sprang from the air, I guess.
When he surrenders, and doesn’t quite
Know how it all happened, red might
Toss a hint to my tall, handsome dream
Of a day when a five cent ice doomed
Him to a capture he never suspected.
K. Bruce Florence
Calm the anxiety
Every moment between texts is a pressure cooker
where you’re afraid one of you might wake up
Don’t be afraid of making her the woman of your reality
the sweet moments of stolen laughter
the hard moments of decision
the myriad boring moments in between