Christopher J. Grasso

Rookie (4-14-76 / Voorhees, NJ)

E-Mail Between Two Lovers, Pick A Date - Poem by Christopher J. Grasso

Subject: My heart flutters like Hallmark cards.

From your forehead, sweat trickles like runway models at first sight of me. Your obligation is to deliver the best ‘impression’ of you when we first meet, then on dates, an actor unlike the true you until my make-up wears thinner, until a month after we move into an efficiency together, you plainly see, that hot cup of coffee, I by accident spilled on your bare hairy thighs, only then will you have permission to slap me, tell me I’m fat ugly and stupid, say you stay with me out of pity. Pull my hair so the roots burn, my bruises are your fingerprints. Then we will be engaged. The yellow under your arm pits bleeds wifebeater. The sperm floating in your body ejaculates ‘dead beat dad’ or runaway. Then we will be married. Our child has one parent, me, both mother and father. Our ‘union’ is fit neatly into one of the ‘actual’ public service announcements, you know the ones that have our kid dialing for help, while you beat me senseless. You become a check, and I scars and the child cigarette burns from countless nights of preceding drunken nights. I find another lover, the courts, and they become my family, their hollowness so much like our home, empty. And I want this from you because ‘it was love at first sight’.

Subject: Hallmark cards can’t get as mushy as my love for you.

My quick steps to you closer, closer make your eyes dilate like two full moons above the starless lights of the city. Four hours in the bathroom breathes your perfection, the best you can look displayed for my courting. And the courtship continues into your sheets, where you wait to be loved. We move in together and soon such perfection can no longer shadow the shallowness of your uneven blush, the true host inside you, the one unaccustomed of compliments from only one man. Where living in monogamy becomes your prison and dangerous, everyman for me an awkward defense. You hide in your words camouflaged, your own rules set boundaries for dodging endless menial jobs, and you crash like a surfboard against the waves. And endless is the question of engagement, though I can’t trust you. You beckon the mouths and tongues of other men while I’m away. You lie truths you can except, hide contraception and secret rendezvous with two fingers to the back of your throat locked away in bathroom doors. And I the ostrich, marries you and wishes it to all go away. Unloved, you become my mistake. I do not want to think about it.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 8, 2010

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