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It isn't your fault.

by Bob Arcania

You have real smooth skin like real varnished
tables. I see the way your lips overhang mine
like the eaves on a porch; can’t we just be
a Midwest summer instead of falling pines?

It is Nebraska. Oklahoma as you panhandle
me with hands as rough as the rusted pole
of your basketball hoop. It is Iowa; I dip
when you bend and this river is our wrist

hooked in your jeans loop and spilling
to your knees. I want to be your knees
when you run like junipers. Don’t your branches
whistle, cat-call, tumble from your clarinet lips?

I want them on me, on mine, on ours, on television
Sundays and on concrete sometimes, and sometimes
in the back of my father’s Model T catching dust
like some exquisite game played for keeps.

I found your licorice-tied shoes caught in the mud
and I thought of your feet bare and dried—
how they always carried you far like real
boys escaping real dreams. It isn’t your fault;

some days, I only know front porch steps,
the lazy fireflies and the fawning cats—
never the maddening quiet of the overpasses,
the interstates, the girls with their convertibles.


Author's Note: come back, come back.

Posted on 03/24/2008
Copyright © 2022 Bob Arcania

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Anita Mac on 03/25/08 at 12:00 AM

You have such a unique voice here... The descriptions keep going through my mind, pleasantly dizzy.

Posted by Nancy Ames on 03/25/08 at 12:40 AM

This poem is a wonderfully literate blending of history and landscape and humanity, skilfully polished, and it certainly takes me back (in time). I give it aces, gold stars and fireworks at dusk.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 03/17/13 at 01:29 PM

Great POTD! This tumbles and twists and takes me on mid western trips - quite a marvelous ride and read. It ends but doesn't and I like that a lot - keeping my mind going and imagining.

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