at my brother's show.
I say, "I think you're terribly attractive."
You say, "The feeling is mutual."
You show up on our first date with a
single rose. It is Valentine's Day.
But the main part is, you show up.
You are my first
real, grown-up boyfriend.
Like the first one I can see
myself settling down with.
I hope you are the last.
Like forever, like a princess movie.
How naive I am at twenty-three.
I love almost every
minute we spend together,
driving around in your old Chevrolet,
watching you dance and play basslines onstage.
I love our Sunday lunch dates
at Bob Evans, drinking coffee, smoking,
reading the paper. You make me feel alive
and stable. Like an adventurous adult.
The day we park in the abandoned Red
Lobster lot and climb into the back seat.
You own a house, and you have cats.
My red-headed friend says,
"There's something to be said
about a man who has cats."
At night I say, "Can I keep you?"
I am not very good at communicating.
But I am good at listening.
I run our charts.
You are Leo Moon, Pisces Sun
and I am Pisces Moon, Leo Sun;
I am masculine, you feminine,
our stars. We are exact opposites.
I think we are Meant to Be.
You tell me being a Pisces that you can feel
everyone and everything in the room
Most of the time, I only
show you my Leo,
because the Pisces part of me
is so meek.
I walk into the bar
where you play in the band
with my brother
with my girls and we pretend
like we are Madonna and her friends
the hottest girls in the place.
We prance in
straight to the bartender.
I can't feel anything
I remember too much.
I love the last apartment we live in
with the chairs out back
and the sliding glass door.
The trees out back look like lovers,
branches entwined like their trunks long to touch.
It is dark
all of the time we
live together. Are we only
up at night?
Your mother takes my chin at Christmas and says,
"I want a baby from this one."
You would have made a great father.
all of the other guys
in the band
on their girlfriends,
who are my friends.
Except for you?
Except for me?
I don't believe it.
I call you one day while you're
on the road and all I can hear are
unfamiliar girls' voices
in the background.
You're traveling farther
and longer away
and you want
a record deal
to make it big
and I am never
going to get used to
all of these girls.
And I can't give you
I feel like I have to
break up with the band.
I lie to you.
We stand in our living room
by the stairs. You say, "Is it the band?"
and I say, "No."
I can't ask you to leave
So I ask you to leave
on oncoming motorcycle.
I grab it by the handlebars
stop it, straddle the front tire,
use all of my power to steer it into reverse.
That's how it feels
to push you
I hate every minute of it.
I pick up my bags
and keep going. I've already met
my future ex-fiance
like a cool rainstorm turns
into a hurricane.
After you leave
and I throw him out
I have a dream so real with you in it,
I can smell your cologne.
You wear a white tee shirt and when I wake
and you aren't there,
only your cats, I fall back into
crying myself to sleep.
It's a really bad time.
I suppose you could call it a rebound
gone awry. Trying to avoid
the real feelings. Which I know now
is the nature of these things.
By then it is physical, the pain
and less tangible. It's the only time
I ever think a human is the devil.
I am legally stoned. I don't see another
In the waiting room
I pick up the Rolling Stone.
The gonzo reporter has just put a
shotgun in his mouth and pulled.
The girl next to me wants to talk.
She says, "I'm just not maternal."
I do not want to talk.
There are so many girls coming in
and out of there, which should
make you feel better, but it doesn't.
It's a really bad time
for a doctor to show any interest--
but how could she know
I am shattered
from the inside out
and alone from every angle.
There's this scene in The Tavern.
We're drinking cheap draft beer
with lime wedges, playing the juke box
next to the dart board
and Carrie is drawing a picture
of a lotus flower
on a napkin.
She says, "I just have a thing
for Irish men." (I know you don't
want to hear all of this).
But I should back down
right there and let her have him
and the hurricane
of what will come but I am stubborn,
goddess-of-the-hunting and I won't
wish all of these consequences on her,
or anybody else.
By then you are gone.
I am so lonely
only surrounded by drinking
After all of that violent struggle
I isolate, sorrow out
in white merlot and mellow music
vocal harmonies, my favorite band's
least favorite experience:
Jimmy Eat World, "Drugs or Me."
I see a white hawk
flying over the interstate
and take it as a sign that I should move
to the beach.
I have a dream
I am flying out of a certain
(I don't know why
I'm telling you all of this or
what it means or if it matters except
maybe the inside moon part of me
feels everything, too.)
You know I always wanted to sing
harmonies and play drums, and maybe
that's why I appreciate your mind so much.
Leo moon, hazel eyes, Kind Pisces.
The last thing I say that I regret:
"Can I keep the couch?"
I'm so sorry.
I buy my first microphone without you.
Blue conga drums come as a wedding gift
from my kind husband. I play with my brother
since there is no longer a band. But that is
your story to tell, and not mine.
The stage and the sound
transform me, somehow
into someone young again
powerful, humble, yet bursting red-orange.
I tell my brother about running into you.
He says, "Whatever happened with you two?"
I tell him, all of this. I tried to tell you
all of this.
He says, "You know, I always gave him a pass
when we were on the road. I told him he could
do whatever he wanted, and I wouldn't tell you."
I say, "Thanks," and he says, "I'm sorry."
Like he means it.
"But he would never do anything," he says.
"He would go off by himself when the rest of us
I go back to you there sometimes
to the late-night cigarette smokey apartment
with the music rehearsals and the cats and
my poetry afternoons, our lunches, our midnights,
all of those full moons.
And I say the things that will be
long still hidden, Leo,
Pisces-felt, but unseen.
Maybe it was the drinking
maybe it was the band
maybe it was just no longer
Meant to Be.