She had a failure like me, dripping
unseen—her humanity in the odor
that comes upon us as men and
women, not at eighteen like a
discriminating Constitution and
But at puberty.
For her at thirteen; for me it was
years away, but I still liked her.
I asked her to dance, after I cleared
it with friends (as you do in middle
school). I was short and cute, she
was normal height, huge to me,
pretty and hair that flared up like
‘80’s hair was supposed to do!
Every man chose a partner; I chose
her, though short of being a man, me
in 7th, her in 8th—me at X School, her
at Y School, visiting for the night
in a dance that would last forever.
Sounds corny? Out of a George
Michael Wham song? Ok. But true,
because I will never forget Melanie
and cry tears of sadness, melancholy
and regret mixed with nostalgia—
hoping to see the light of good memories
to pass onto our children. Not “ours,”
but hers with a loving husband, my
path poetic and unknown—God whispering
lines in my ear since 1995, Spanish
and English lullabies.
What smashes ties? Or is it better to
cry. Just let the tears gush; I’m so
sorry I was alcoholic and am. I’m so
sorry I couldn’t express love like
I’d have liked. I’m sorry to Anne before
Melanie, JJ between—the lies of loving
but failing to report the love some of
the worst sins known to mankind.
Women of Melanie’s kind deserve better.
Truth and better weather; God loving
us on a lonely dance floor filled with
confused un-guided people. Some say
“kids,” but we had seen it all by then;
the love sweep, the love deep, dreams
crashing on alcoholic shores of
“what’s the cool thing to do,” fighting
the careless un-whispered purity
I failed to be. Anne knows, JJ and now
We are all fools in love.
The heaven-bound say so, and love
the ones they love by telling them.