next week, we'll dance harder

by Gabriel Ricard

I didn’t start this thing
live and in pretty good color from the trunk of your car.

I’m pretty sure you didn’t wake up
Tuesday morning with a sudden impulse
to see if you could beat your long-retired friends
in a race around the world just beyond the creepy clubhouse
that’s as large as Manhattan and twice as mean.

Nobody ever gets
what they want when doomsday
recycles the prayers from two a.m.,
realizes the words sound like something from Valentine’s Day
and just starts the paperwork all over again.

At one point
I wanted to tap dance twenty miles on one small table
at the bar where we buried the hatchet for a whole week.

I also wanted to be a hero
across the last three blocks of my hometown.

You wanted to be a journalist
with more blood on the keys
than Jerry Lee Lewis has on his best piano.

There was another time
when you told me how much you wanted to like
the way your legs looked in a new summer dress.

I have a terrible, creeping suspicion
that we didn’t grow up
when the time was right.

Not that thinking this ever slows me down,
and I can’t remember the last time
either one of us went to bed angry,
sober or stupid.

I can still throw a right hand
that’s guaranteed to strike at least one
of the six or more people who corner me
when I owe more time than I have in my pockets.

You drive the getaway car,
keep the money in a laptop bag in the trunk
and know even more about movies than I do.

The diamonds in the glove box could line a coffin
with genius green,
but we knew that when we picked them up
on that vacation that’s technically still at large.

I love it.
I’m so tired,
but I love it relentlessly.

Have you noticed how the same band
seems to play in some nearby house of confinement
every time our car breaks down, and all the street signs
are pointing towards the sky?

I love that, too.


Posted on 06/27/2011
Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ken Harnisch on 06/27/11 at 11:16 PM

it may be my mood, but I think this is as close to a Ricard love poem As I've ever read here...and as the last line aptly puts it: "I love that, too."

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 06/28/11 at 01:37 PM

Ken has it spot on!! It's not really your style to go all soft and mushy, and this is neither, but it still reeks of the "L" word. :))

Posted by Glenn Currier on 06/28/11 at 04:50 PM

I love that "creeping suspicion" stanza and then the one that follows. I see the ebb and flow of relationship and humanity in your poem, Daniel. The weaknesses and the indefatigable spirit... the urge to tap dance on the table... Really good pome, Daniel, Thanks a bunch.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 06/28/11 at 04:51 PM

Sorry... Gabriel.

Posted by Ava Blu on 06/28/11 at 08:47 PM

I don't understand how this can be perceived as a love poem. I see a bit of love, sure, but if you're familiar with Gabe's work then you should recognize this is not a love poem. This is, however, a story worth reading.

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