Robert Rorabeck

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

He-Man - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Crime is calling me out now, for some kind of job-
The graveyard shift of wet street, the lonely moon swaying
In the niggardly cradle;
All the students passed out,
Musicians with sway-backed guitars in laps drooling
On the dirty stoops of the recent days;
Me, just cleaning up the linoleum floor of
The chain restaurant, thinking of her legs and the willows’
Spriggy depressions; a slice of pain,
How I might toss her a few lines, spoken under the
Breath of eager inebriations, jealously daydreaming
The last peck of darkness before the abruptly crowing dawn,
Of the bountiful man she is taking home to
Tease and spoon feed, to yawn and crack eyes in lazy jest:
To see the signs of chirping day, to douse and
Sink against his wooden six pack until noon, and then
To gorge of the greasy feasts of fried lunch;
The American jungle of her eyes; and her wild legs,
The types of sports they played in high school;
Now they just kid around as they walk across the bar,
Serving drinks and souvenirs to the freshman and the sailors;
She has the hidden colors of the flag all over her body’s sway;
And its been a decade since I’ve seen them,
Or since another woman has met my eyes in maybe meetings,
And I didn’t even care; because I was full of patriotism for her,
And how I might spend my twilight hours
Running the courses like a misspent champion,7 miles
Around her rented dirge of philistine advertisements;
Just to get her planted in the back of my tongue, like a wedge
In the Pharaoh’s army, ready to dive into her fleeing seas of red orchid;
Now all of that is gone, along with the woman I used to sleep with,
Gone into the Diaspora of obscure Judaica,
The sweaty flee-markets and untamed men with Spanish tongues,
Flooding the needled tip of flora bouquets of forgetful Florida;
She is in with it with someone now, cradle in the lap of rum;
Cradling in the same lap she has always been in, ready to get done
And out of there, while I am just done and ready to settle
Into the services of the obscure; ready to settle in a home built
Thirty decades ago; As I sit down on the pot and bite by tongue,
Read the sad declarations of her forgetful eyes on the manila stall:
John Wayne flunked basic training,
She moved in with him the very next day....

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 11, 2008

Poem Edited: Monday, May 12, 2008

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