That was you following me
scraping solutions off my algebra papers.
Forcing me to follow you to a round table
group who tossed their words into cups
then dived into their coffee after them
for courage, and sarcasm.
That was you outside the beauty school door
pulling the rollers and teasing comb out of my kit
forcing me to follow you down sixth street chasing
slick cylinders and foam tubes full of gossip and smelling
like all the curls permanent wave solution could make.
I knew you hid sexy dime mysteries
in your dives serving coffee galore.
That was you dancing on the table at the crossroads
forcing me to follow you in my highheels as you tickled
my roommate under that purple dress where she chased
you, wanting just one kiss beneath the mistletoe–before I
found you and we spilled our coffee drunk with laughter.
That was you shattering all the myths that I held so true
after you followed me to midnight mass;
you giggling at the monstrance and incense
cracking a stain-glassed façade diving into
the cauldrons of religion on gallons of coffee and ire.
That was you holding the girl on a ferris-wheel who had
a sister with twin eyes to mine as we followed in the next car.
In the house of mirrors she and I scared each other
to opposite sides of those reflections. I saw you smirk
your cat smile, crawl from one side to the other holding out
braille hands touching coffee cups where we
waited in a pahdoo theater of miracle-worked love.
That was you with some scheming redhaired girl
under bleachers feeling white forbiddens which you
lied about and wrote in long texts on rolls and rolls of
tissue parchment which landed with your suspension;
I followed by trading the girl who couldn’t read for
a communist roommate as Castro triumphed in the Bay of Pigs.
Red or Dead – it was all the same to us…as the coffee
settled to grounds; we turned around three times.
You sang Lubbock in a Hi-D-Ho big-haired country ballad,
and I turned to cafeteria urns of tea looking for me.
Yes even so, that was you turning up in Dallas, swinging
along Denton Drive ogling the college preppies
falling in love with every long-legged girl they brought in.
And without so much as a coffee pot you were drinking my words
spilling out into saucers of poetry where Whitman’s leaves
floated next to Frost’s rhymes
& Dickinson’s sticky rolled up balls of notepaper.
(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011 * All Rights Reserve