By Ally Malinenko
When we were talking yesterday
you said that if we couldn’t make it work
that you would be fine with New Orleans,
because you know the way to the Spotted Cat
and because we both would hope that bartender would be there.
The dark hair,
(what did I say the first time,
the color of the Mississippi mud?)
Her sexy little drawl.
And I agree.
Because there are those places
that you always feel at home at,
that open their arms to you,
that wait like patient lovers,
and no matter how long it took you
to get there,
they smile that easy southern smile,
fiddling with their unused silverware,
when you walk through the door,
flustered and stuttering your lame apologies.
But I’m still hoping for
and a different river.
I’m still wondering what day it will be
that I wake up and say
let’s go live in Scotland for a couple years,
and we do it,
because we have nothing holding us back.
Because the clock is ticking, love,
because we aren’t sure how much time is left,
and I have too much to fit in,
between the football games
and the lengthening of my shadow
in this late
already maybe too late
I told you I wanted an interesting life
and you said that I already have one
but this hole inside is never ending
and I’m throwing everything I can down there
just to fill it.
Yesterday I threw my journal from 1997 down there
the one that started with my first love,
and it is filled with all the heartache and scars
that only careless twenty year olds can do to each other
and ended with you,
and the notion of indulgence
but in between,
this is what I’m trying to say, darling,
were a million people and comments and promises
and broken hearts
and late night talks about Edgar Allen Poe
with people who have vanished to me.
And all their voices and faces have gone down that hole too
and it isn’t even making a dent.
I’m going to go down that hole too, love
(and so are all of you)
I want something
so that when the slide begins,
I will say, Oh Yes,
now is the time.
About Ally Malinenko
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