A small black fuzz box for Christmas.
Impressed the hell out of my friends
at the music shop where you'd stopped
and bought it for me -- what kid's mother
Still under your roof, I enjoyed
playing cards, eating Chinese food
with you. I called if not coming home.
Checked out the Bible college,
but drove back from Seattle
after two hours of chapel --
not a place for me to stretch out.
Late nights in my buddy's barn, drinking beer
his brother bought and playing loud,
calling girls to come and hang out.
Empty half rack in the back of my truck
led to your lashing -- not about driving drunk,
but the evil of liquor and sin of fornication.
Screaming, eyes pupilless moons, called me
wicked, boozer, lecher, pervert.
Staggered by your bullets, their white cut,
part of me wished your charges were true --
would have made me
a much cooler kid.
Had little problem putting down
the Tonka trucks to play dolls with
his sister, or the girl downstairs.
Could weave a story just as spicy
as any on Grandmother's soaps.
Made friends sometimes, but no little girl
ever once tried to give him a kiss.
Never heard how to go about catching girls.
Chased them down playground slopes, in
poor poems, into gay clubs, around boyfriends.
Chased them right up to airplane gates.
The good ones steered clear, could smell
the doubt and fear, sour like month-old milk.
A few stuck, by some chance mix
of charm and luck: either messed up enough
that they didn't care, or their own stench
of missionary zeal and fanciful wish
didn't allow for a meaningful sniff.
Nothing lasted -- crumbled like clods of dried earth.
Hoped for years someone would write
"Women for Dummies". Didn't know
he needed to read "Fix It Yourself and Save".