Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,196 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

By The Time It Got There - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Your empty eyes are socked with your
Husband’s heliotrope fist,
And Pedro is talking to me in Spanish:
And what is the night,
What is the night but the other side of the
And Antarctica and girls who habitually touch
Their faces when they see me.
How I’ve been trained to avoid the rush of
Traffics, to sleep
Underneath the overpasses and dream of
And the antics of playground balls under the
Where concrete tunnels perform the initiation
Rights of
Preschool flirtations,
Where cats trounce nine-lived up in the bunny-
Their spinsters and gamblers asleep in their
Furs in
The pet cemetery down the street from the
Elementary school where in
Second grade I brought tulips for Denise,
But didn’t have the guts to hand them
Over myself.
After school, her parents were fat, and I wondered
If she had been adopted,
And the buses turned like corpulent honey bees,
So that stretched out the entire road
Was like a black orchid playing in the séances of
An ineffective heart,
Who then rode its bicycle home, but
By the time it got there was very happy to have dinner

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

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