[this poem has been amended, see subsequent comments]
What Seemed Like Good Ideas
Karaoke at Gabe’s for the umpteenth,
Singing country for Cowboys dribbling
Swill on shave-nicked chins and calling
Ordering curried fish in London first
Things first, to pop off my flare for fitting
In—wincing at warm bitters and staring
Whole fish in the eyes.
Pushing all in against a sprung-eyed
Geezer with seven ways of grinning,
None of which guaranteed a sure-fire
Flush or higher.
Quarry dives at Warrior, skinny legs,
White legs wobbling, water-painted girls
Dripping mascara, quoting movies
We all liked that summer, that summer in particular.
Crash course mistakes learned hard
Against the Gulf Coast pushing in white
Breakers, feet numb, and paper-white herons
Scaring the rest of the hell out of me.
Days set aside for anticipating nights
When the kaleidoscope rattled, twisted
By unseen hands—the branches cricketing
Havoc on the stars.