channeling cb (20160608)

we reach the light at the same time
the woman and i

i glance at her

she’s young, fresh-faced
her hair pulled back
into a ponytail

–why doesn’t she look this way

even as i turn back to the light
still freshly red

as we approached
either one of us could have run it
made it through that stale yellow
but neither one of us did

i look at her again
i have time after all
the other traffic is just now

as a sculptor
i have to look at her face

like when i started writing fiction
and dissecting screenplays
how i ruined movies for everyone
including myself
–that’s the killer
–he’s going to die in the next act
–here comes the first big reversal
instead of just enjoying it

now i look for bones
collagen and muscle
planes, angles and shadows

–why doesn’t she look this way

and i turn back again
as traffic is slowing down
like popcorn in the microwave
just before it starts smoking
and stinking up the kitchen

just as well
she doesn’t look at me
a twitchy old bald man
who’s face is drawn up by
tortured nerves into a grimace
that could be mistaken for a leer

or is it a leer
my dad was a real womanizer
couldn’t pay attention to his kids or wives
because he was always wondering
where he was going to stick it next
thank god i mostly look like a gargoyle
half stone, half flesh and blood
so i never had to deal with that

–and why the fuck doesn’t she look this way

the light turns green
it’s just as well our eyes didn’t meet
don’t want any misunderstandings
one meeting of the eyes might be an accident
but what if we end up at this light again
is that a relationship
who needs an extra one of those

it’s obvious she’s looking at her phone
and i hate that shit

13 thoughts on “channeling cb (20160608)”

  1. I really enjoyed this–especially the touches of humor, the popcorn lines, the last two lines. I am always trying to convince myself that no one looks at me while I wait at stoplights, and this is why I can keep singing… 😉

  2. the poem keeps me interested all the way through. the voice is honest and funny. as an old guy, myself, i know how self-deprecating humor can be effective. my favorite stanza, though, shows a poet paying attention: “now i look for bones/ collagen and muscle/ planes, angles and shadows.” really good stuff there.

  3. i owe you an apology. i just read your “about” section on the blog and discovered that you are only fifty, certainly not an “old guy.”

    1. Ha ha. It’s okay. I’m 51, and some days address myself as old man in the mirror. No apologies needed. 👍

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