9 ways I’ve starved…

There was this girl. We went dancing. The light caught pearls of sweat on her shoulder. “I need to keep moving, like a shark,” she told me, sliding away through the crowd. More like a snake if you ask me. I knew it wouldn’t last when I saw her laughing at that stranger’s dumb jokes, leaning into his chest.

Another girl, when I was ten years-old, told me I was cute and we should get married underneath the swing set. Since then I haven’t been able to think of anything else.

Then there the was one who took me hiking one day and then back to her apartment to show me drawings she made of graveyards. When we had sex she screamed out the names of past lovers… all of them. And when she got to mine she opened her eyes and it came out like a death rattle.

And of course, the one I fell in love with, although she terrorized me weekly and burned my poem. Between you and me, with the edges yellowed from flame, it was the best poetry I’ve ever written.

The most beautiful, and most fucked-up, one, told me I was a pen that ran out of ink. We lasted for three years and then she dissolved into ether. She now lives in Montreal catering weddings. Placing little hors-d’oeuvres on silver trays.

Oh no! I almost forgot about the woman who took off her clothes and jumped in the river that was all ice-cold and flowing snow melt. She begged me to followed her in, and, of course, like an idiot, I did. And now I don’t hear so well.

Ah, and the funny one, always making jokes at the worst times. Like after climaxing and waking the neighbors she’d tell me my penis looked like a potato bug, laughing while lighting a joint the size of your middle finger.

The ex-wife, the second one, the third if you count the one underneath the swing set, liked to surprise me at work with lunch that we’d eat in the park while watching cloud shadows move across the green grass. She was a good one. I think it would have lasted if it wasn’t for the cancer.

I met one at a train station, waiting for the commuter up to the North Shore. She told me I seemed like a man floundering without a purpose. We sat next to each other the whole way learning about each others’ lives. It was the best love affair I ever had, although she got off in Newberryport and we never even held hands. I still think of the mole behind her right ear.


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