Works of fiction and poetry by friends of Bamboo Ridge Press.



Published by LANNING | Thursday, October 02, 2014 5:37 PM

436 words

I suppose you know I was in love with you.
All those letters. We were a pair
of regular epistolary fiends.

That’s why I came back to Madison in ’82.
But the very first day, right after you picked me up
at the airport and dropped me
at Mel’s place, I saw you downtown
with another guy.
So I thought, “Well, I guess this isn’t going to happen.”

I burned every letter when I got home.
All of them.
And that’s another reason why
I’m an idiot.
At least I would have them to read now.
So long afterwards.

Your sister?
The anorexia/bulemia.
That still haunts me to this day.
You see, I always wondered if you
were the anorexic one.
She looked so healthy
when I went to visit your mom.
You were the one, I thought,
who looked a little too thin.

Man, I was crazy
about you.
And now you’re long married,
probably with at least two beautiful children
and living way over in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
doing God knows what
with sodium pump lasers and space exploration
and whatever.
I don’t understand any of it.
But I’ve painstakingly read through
all your papers published on the web.

I can imagine the life
we might have had.
We would have been world travellers.
It would have been Paris and baguettes.
Long, narrow, and crunchy. With lots of butter and good red wine.
I can see England, Ireland and Guinness.
I can feel Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Norway and Korea.
And of course Switzerland.
Who named Tuffli wouldn’t want to go Swiss for a while?
You would be beautiful in Swiss snow.
You were always beautiful in snow.
Your scarves a stunning detail.

And you smoked those God awful herb cigarettes
and those even more God awful Turkish cigarettes
that made the record store stink to high heaven,
but I loved you for the scent afterward,
your sweet tobacco smell.
On you a perfume.
On others maybe not so much.
With you some further hint of leather.

Those impromptu dinners were always a treat for me.
To think my farewell lunch with you
was at McDonald’s.
I wanted to grab your hand when we walked there
from West Towne Mall.

I loved the way you slouched and crossed your legs
in the cushy chairs at Porta Bella.
Never got to actually see them because you always wore slacks.
But I know they were long.
Still wonderfully,
like with the aforementioned scarves,
you were always quite the fashion plate.

What an idiot.

Remember our trip to the Munch exhibit?
That scream is me.


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