Note: Written in March 2013; revised slightly.

“Why does this car look like a dark bedroom
in college?” yowls the denim man
clad in boots, a cowboy in the rain.
His gal, a fishnet prize, raises a finger
to shush his lips, aching of gin and pizza.

He’s right. The F train’s bulbs have gone in spots.
A shadow umbrella keeps the rider dry
from peeking too close at dimples,
moles and hair sprouts. It’s Reagan Hall
dorm 224 again — without the blondes
that made it fun. Without the contraband
in drawers. Without the half-moon window view
that once allowed a gaze to trees
in traffic circles and snow.

Midnight and crushed rain upon your coat
are all you own. Recall the fierce catches
in tavern smoke, the vinegar, the scrapes.
It’s all stretched miles from here,
gone like a dust of snow by morning.

You scan all faces always for a sliver
of remembrance, a flame to light your
memory halls. Your neck bounces as steel
rail hits sharp like dangling ice
and the morning seems a promise, for once.
Drink the moment deep as memory.
Swig from now and swallow with a chase.

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We were kids, you in a petticoat, breath washed in ethyl —

pickled souls. Eighty proof education.

On weekdays, watching you from the window

in ribbon hair and sandals, dreaming. Remembering.

Your eyes slumped in textbooks. Mine circling

words and swallowing them whole as grapes.

The steam of night calling as a gentleman

and crowning as an infant. The hot blaze.

Years have tumbled us like drying machines

and spread a smear of hindsight between our legs.

Invented memory now hogs our sun.

All snowglobe love will crack one day. Bonne chance.

It ought to be a crime, a felony

to know so much and never say hello.