Tuesday, April 8, 2014

1964

Remember those days?
Fridays after work at the lounge
It was the summer after Kennedy died
I knew a Republican at the office
Who bragged he'd pulled the trigger

Coastal sun
Portholes behind the bar
Arguments over Clay and Liston
Sometimes women
Lips with a showroom shine
They listened, expressions like cats
When they took off their sunglasses
Soon they huddled together
Secret musings
Whispers, intake of breath
Covert glance toward the next table

The sea came in on the air
Falling from heaps of heat-loosened shells
Half open
Mouths robbed of conversation
We said little when eating
Staring blankly at white breakers
On a beach across the bay
Littered with colored rectangles
Province of wives, children
Husbands as aloof, crew-cut despots
The newspaper a barrier to the wind
Reading of writing in the sand
Washed by Asian surf

Painted wooden corners
Spider webs billowing in a breeze
Goldwater pushing us to the edge
A young girl disappears in a mushroom cloud
On the TV
Someone observes, "his cause is surely lost"

Prominent behind the counter
Milkshake machine, faded green Sunbeam
A fleshy hand twists the metal cup
Pours a chocolate dream straight up
Sweat beads on the steel
The meal is done, we stir to leave
The ex-ballplayer drops his keys
One of the girls, laughing, takes him  home
The fins of the Buick slice the air
Leaving the place I give back one glance
I can see next week already there

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