February 9, 2010

Hattie Wilcox

Dirt Sandwich

—Inspired by Charles Bukowski

I thought I made you feel young
I thought you liked loving me
my fat lips my big ass my long dark hair
my see-through-blue perfumed lace pants and
my punky Melrose Avenue shoes
you know how much I liked the look of you
your beautiful feet your eyes
fixed on me uninterruptedly
so much sex without trying your chest
hard, defined like when you were 19
when your big runner's thighs
could get past mine and open 'em wide
any day of the week any time
I left for almost 40 years
to return and you're pushing 58
and being mature we found it funny
love ridiculously crazy, hilarious
the way we laughed every second
when you'd say fuck this and fucking that and
now I really really loved the way we did it
so smooth and natural
a beautiful melody like a rushing river
singing out a symphony
named us
until you stopped
and your silence made me ponder
maybe I made you feel old
maybe I was too much earth, too arty
for your old-farty elitist party
the best they can do for fun
high-priced fundraisers and you
in the middle, invisible, blending
in with your monogrammed cuffs
and your hands around me
then maybe not, maybe you couldn't
go to the depths or navigate
the rise of the sun or the hum
where did she come from?
what charities have you chaired, hon?
where did he find her? what a pair . . .
look at all that hair
squash-blossoms around her neck
when did you say you two met?
she's not his kind of girl really
there's something about her
she's too . . . what's the word?
still you decided to go ahead
do me with a new bottle of wine
pour yourself another glass
after dinner, and night after night
down it went to collapse
the present into the past
erase how we loved the best last
dangerously, recklessly, even though you
no longer long-haired, ragged and running
no longer scrounging for money
for your gas, your drugs
for the slab of the life you live now
you always loved to get shit-faced
and do your own bit of 'anything goes'
so you took my mouth and folded me
back into the warmth
of that indefinable space
you took up in my arms
you stayed naked for days and
slumbered so, I smiled and watched you
until one morning you watched me
and I felt the spec of distance
fly in my eye and you got up
you let it all go, you turned away
snuck back into the old man
holding tight his last stand
a nondescript woman in pearls
with bad teeth, a fat car and a grand house
where you slept every weekend
before you took a break
to start it with me . . . geez
I never knew until you were gone
and hey . . . yeah I heard
good times cost a fortune these days
everything costs more now
and it's a goddamned dirt sandwich
when you know so much
and it's not enough


Hattie Wilcox's love of poetry and piano led her to songwriting and the 2008 release of her debut CD, Red Bird Tattoo. She has won prize money for her lyrics and has lived to see her first royalty check. She continues to write poetry—her first love. Find out more at http://hattiewilcox.com/

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