that soft love
she presses against me
we lock arms and she sighs

i kiss her forehead
and we connect
her stress
my fears

flushed away in
a moment of contact

given and
taken in an instant

this woman that i love
that soul that i need
her body that i ache for

our fingers entwine
her eyes soften
my neck tingles

our cheeks touch
my throat chokes
she reaches beneath

i am hers
she is mine





warm, thick

sweaty thighs
pressing against
wet shorts

sitting in
her backyard
fresh mown grass

the week spent
sneaking glances
of her body

white cotton shirt
clinging to
hard perky nipples

long auburn hair
braided and wet
against her back

she would hop
over the sprinkler
young chest bouncing

out of breath
drinking lemonade
and eating carrots

her eyes piercing
into my nervous
emerging libido

we sat on the
redwood bench
awkwardly talking

i loved her
she tolerated me
we were hormonal



walked past her house
every other day
going to jason’s
or ben’s house

snow white husky
behind a chainlink fence
i would crane my neck
hoping to see her

her hair glowed
in sunlight
and in shade
green eyes cut into me

i never talked to her
but had conversations
with her
in my head

we had everything
in common
favorite color
and lucky number 8

a perfect match
made of my own delusion
i would make sure
we never met

walked past her house
and mumbled what i
would say
if i had the nerve

never talked to her
didn’t want to
break the dream
of nervous infatuation



“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

Late Night Waffle House.


A night
of family and
awkward glares
from past loves.

Beer in hand
smirking and
shaking hands.

I bite my tongue.

We need food.
Greasy, cheap, food.

The truck stop comes and goes.
Waffle House.

Car parked.
Holding hands as
we walk up the steps.

Worn red vinyl
and chrome chairs
prop the doors open.

It’s stale
and greasy inside.

A once tall man
greets us.
Sergeant bars
on his apron.

Bill shakes my hand
and we sit at
the counter.

She asks for quarters.
Louis Armstrong and
Otis Redding
spill from the jukebox.

Short order cook named
Brandi fries up
a banquet.

Plates appear in
a sweep of gesture
and graceful apathy.

Gravy. Sausage. Eggs.
Pecan waffles, butter

She tells us about
her old man.
It’s not working out.

Bill remembers a Vietnam
reunion in N’Awlins.
Almost kissed a
man in a dress.

Brandi cleans the

We dance to
Conway Twitty.

a crowd of strangers
come in.
the moment is gone.

The drive home
is blissful.



sundownriding towards the light
to unfinished concrete
and soft grass.
that one cement seat
for rain and filth
we sat and wished
of riches, women, and fame.

as it set past the land
we wished of love,
and parents that never fought.

it was always the same
frustration, hope and fear.
it was never the same
hormones, sex, and anticipation.

riding away from the
purple and orange.
hoping and dreaming.
we had sat upon the concrete
and knew that was our

to wish, to dream, to imagine.
a secret shared.
a hope confided.
a future dreamed.
I sat at home.
looked to the sky
ignored my life,

and knew.


i was going to wait to write about my birthday on the actual day, but i decided to get it out of the way. the day will come and go, and i will not be changed in mind, body, soul, spirit, or outlook. i will go out to eat with the parents, i will open some gifts, some mediocre fanfare, and the day will end. the birthday cake will be in front of me, i will blow the now 28 candles on the frosted goodness, and close my eyes and wish for:

  • wealth
  • fame
  • love
  • happiness
  • all that other stuff

we all do it. we all wish for these things that we want. not what we need. instead of:

  • health
  • stability
  • patience
  • compassion

but it’s just candles. it’s just smoke. extinguished in one blow. where the tradition came from, i don’t know. i could probably google it. but that’s beside the point. we know that the wishes won’t come true from blowing the candles out. it likens to tossing a coin in a well or fountain. or catching the bouquet at a wedding reception. one doesn’t affect the other. it would be just as effective to put an aluminum pirate hat on my head and dance, all with the intent of world peace. i know it sounds pessimistic, not in the tone of the birthday. but… meh. i’m an old man now. i can wallow in pessimism.



i try to remember her face. i close my eyes, and try to remember her perfume. her scent that i could smell before she came into the room. i try to remember her laugh. her hearty, loud, boastful laugh. she only smiled when i made her laugh. my brain strains and hurts to recall anything that will open my horrible blocks of memory. anything… a word that her thick accent would butcher… her soft small hands that i had kissed for hours as i pleaded with her to take me back. i despise my cursed brain. the back of my eyes throb, my neck is killing my concentration. i can remember all of the things about her. yet her gentle, soft, loving face is nothing but a moment.

it has always been that way. i have memories of my childhood. i can tell you that i used to look up little girl’s dresses through the planks of the floor in the fort at private school. i know the phone number of the first girl i ever loved. my brain still holds onto the memory of the first group of friends that ever told me i was worth anything. i remember being laughed at and teased and beat up because i never belonged. i remember when my drama teacher in 6th grade told me how i had started a tradition for the school that lasts to this day. lost love, found treasures of hope… all in my patched, faulty brain.

the one thing that i need to remember, i cant. i promised myself that if i forgot everything else, i would never lose her face. i lost her love, her trust, and her soul. when she left this world it was real and terrible. but that face. that was all i had. i have to remember her, i need to recall her olive skinned beauty. but it never comes. my mind betrays me again. the frustration is too much, and i cry. she is lost to this world. i never had the chance to reconcile. i never told her how i missed her. i never got to see her again before she was gone. we were together for years. she was almost my wife. i dont have a single photo of her. not even a moment of her in my mind that i can recover.

j. jay-