September 22, 2003

American Love Story
--- by Mike Dockins

1. THE GIRL

Hallelujah, she knows how to shoot pool.
She sinks her eight ball, drinks me under
the table. I whimper for a date, a smooch,
a slap. She hits the jukebox, that old song.
I change taverns but she's there: pigtails
that fill me with moon silt and planet jelly,
lips that just keep on being lips, little belly
I want to ski across. At home she's on top
of the fridge, dog-earing my favorite Azorean
epic. She drives the bus I take, cleans my
teeth, cuts my hair, cashes my paychecks,
taunting me: Going out tonight, Jerry? See
you there, Doll, I say, shaking with optimism.

2. THE SCHEME

If I can carry the pigskin ten more yards,
she'll take me to the movies, an action flick
with Swiss banks and tanks and jagged Alps.
I'll miss hockey, but her swinging ponytail
is better than a puck slung on ice. Her face
becomes warm, hot, thermonuclear. God,
I love her. She has perfect teeth, a straight
spine, and thighs that make frat boys bang
petulant fists during beer pong. Lord, if I sink
this basket, she'll marry me in Lake Tahoe: my
feet in Nevada, hers in California. If I'm clever,
I'll slip into a triple-cherry slot, and I'll love her
more with each rolling coin, each lucky pull.

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