Lost Love Poem
My love is like a red, red rose.
Well, not really, but she might be
if her hair or even the rest
of her were red. I’m not sure I’d like that.
It might depend on which red we’re
talking about. Probably not scarlet
(tacky, overused) or maroon ( too glum.)
Maybe something like carmine,
though I can’t really picture her carmine.
Is it pinkish?
Fuchsia—that’s red isn’t it?
And the rose, not my favorite,
is a problem,
though nothing else would sound right:
My love is like a red, red fuchsia,
I’m sure doesn’t work.
What are some other flowers?
(And why can’t I think of their
names when I need to?)
I think my love is upstairs packing.
Through the lens the moon appalls,
a cross-section of bleached femur,
cleaned by space jackals.
Still we look and look, can no more
get enough than of what’s-her-tits on the tv
nose pressed to the screen
the reruns of collapse
From every pan and closeup,
Or the wild dogs in their pit
we lift our child to see,
singing, closer, Mommy, closer
Just to see
After the falls and fatal lunges
Is it only something in us
Can’t abide distance?
Must always bring the far near?
All this, no more than that?
A quiet kid, one easily lost in a crowd,
who was along, I’m sure, when we senior boys
(a small school, there were only eight)
took our class trip to Salisbury Beach
in two cars with cases of beer
and got suitably ripped in a drizzling rain.
We might have looked at the waves once or twice
before we slept the night in the cars,
and in the morning, drove back home,
hugging our hangovers like basketball trophies.
Sandy-haired, medium height, blue—maybe green—eyed.
Odd how the liking outlives the particulars.
I still see him at the last,
only a year or two out,
after we all had left,
where he quiet remains,
him, his shotgun, the fence.
David Ackley lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. His work has previously appeared in The Greensboro Review, Prick of the Spindle, THIS, A-Minor and other fine journals. His fiction has been listed as a Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories, and nominated for Best of the Net and Million Writers Awards.