The First Date
He met her on the boardwalk, made her wait
Twenty-seven minutes with leather chested
Out of workers double fisting tall fluted
Neon cups of frozen cocktail. She made friends
Easily, maybe he knew she could wait it out.
He ascended the wooden planks in a red suit,
Perfectly quaffed, eye patch subtly bejeweled
With her initials. She pretended not to see
The glitter against overcast sky, just batted lashes
At the horizon, deep leaned into right hip.
Approaching from behind, he hooked
Her elbow and they took off, wordless, feet
Syncopated—a sign that they were destined
To walk for some days. What do you remember
About the day you were born, he asked.
Marilyn Monroe’s ghost was on the cover
Of a men’s magazine in the Netherlands,
The Council on Competitiveness was founded,
There was a cord the color of homesick
Wrapped around my neck, and the day
They took me home, Chernobyl fell out
Near the town my great grandmother fled,
A discothèque was bombed, two-and-a-half-pound
Hail stones hit Bangladesh, and all they found
In Capone’s vault was a bottle
Of moonshine. Anticlimactic, I know.
He bit her ear, and she liked it. And you?
All my mother ever told me was that
The nurse laughed. Not your mother,
You, what do you remember?
Oh, I went somewhere else that day—
Can’t say I was there to take note. She
Frowned out loud. This time he leaned in
And licked the nape of her neck
Just along the staples, let the rusty
Sit in his molars. I’m glad they didn’t remove
The part that remembered all that. She smiled
At this, eyes still to the horizon
And without looking at him said, I think
You should write the baby books.