The Orris: A Cultural Journal

Looking at You, Twenty-Four Years On

We remember imperfectly, thank God;

you across to me; me across to you.

Still some measure of sympathy, I guess:

parity, we realized early on,

is one sure recipe for disaster —

You play it just right most times; the raised eyebrow

to friends—endearing girl-Sancho to

my Quixote; anecdotes that might charm

my abuses; qualified forgiveness

sadly granted in perpetuity —

Can lean on that sort of thing forever.

Silver anniversary, gold metal,

platinum record—win it all baby —

Your face reflected in the mirror as

you wait to get on the pot in the morn,

and suddenly I’m remembering the

freaky sex we had all the way back then —

Don’t much care for the effort now. “You should,”

I sometimes say, “think about exercise.”

My eyes, in my face in the mirror, are

on you, you just know it. And you are right.

No longer have to look at each other.

Hear each other, if at all, in delay.

What do we do with all the time we have

left? People are living longer these days,

don’t have to die angry. And us, maybe

we could be “us” again; rekindle and

reaffirm. Through art, through sex, innocence

manufactured or built upon burnt ground.

Twenty-four years on and warm days still call,

blow over the bedsheets in the morning,

your ass thrust into my back, some estranged

husband across the way waking his ex

with a hellish clangor—and a Taser,

reports later said. Guess he wanted his

love to lie still. Still, I look at, love you.

–Jefferson Riordan



One comment on “Looking at You, Twenty-Four Years On

  1. Anonymous
    April 25, 2012

    Beautiful, Jefferson.

Comments are closed.


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