Robert Rorabeck

Freshman - 511 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

The Trees Are Still Yet Green - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Call me what you will, I’ll write
You another poem, I’ll make money off you.
I’ll get fat watching you swing upside down
From the cypress. I’ll burn sugarcane like incense;
I’ll cast a spell underneath the orange blossoms;
I’ll wave to the concubines with bound feet-

You have a boyfriend, so I can’t trust you:
Oh what a world, this high school world,
The buses the state provides newly washed,
The seats varnished by Mexicans.
The only time I can rest is when they break down,
And then I sleep under them in the effluvious oil slicks,
While the terrapin finishes off his orchid. Somehow
He still wins the race and buys me a new skin,
We all win, and then there is a parade in the oval the
Bleachers look down into, like a sunken dais;

But even now its not snowing in Florida, its not snowing
At all but here it is snowing, and at that Catholic church
Where she opened up her trunk and showed me that glorious
Bag full of condoms, and we made love near the cerulean
Crèche; now they have the Christmas tree up
My father sold them, they must have, and they
Are marching pantomimes underneath that and eating
Crackerjacks, but that was so many years, and I don’t remember
What I say.

She went up into his bedroom and they got
Out the tennis rackets while his parents read the newspaper
And played Scrabble approvingly;
But I only say this because I still want to be near to you,
And kiss around your mouth and hang out there like a spotty
Bee on his flower, and write my memoirs underneath the
Banister of our bed, but it is already occupied, and I don’t
Remember where I am or what I am doing, but I started
This to be nearer to you, to sojourn like a keen arrow into your
Dress, but I have tried that for so long and it hasn’t worked;
And I haven’t spotted you with blood, or kept
Good time,
And school is over and it is not returning,
And in the wintertime in Florida the trees are still
Yet green, but they do not blossom.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 25, 2008



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