|Apr/May 2005 • Poetry|
When I was a child
I could kiss as many boys as I wanted
for I was the second fastest runner in third grade.
It was easy for me to hunt them down on the roof
during recess. I would even catch extras
for my friend Ellie and give them to her,
fireflies caught in a bottle.
But here I am,
sitting around Eric's tattoo shop out on Route 68,
while my girlfriend picks out a shiny red heart
for her hipbone. The tattoo artist approves
when my friend does not etch
her husband’s name indelibly into her skin.
He murmurs that marriage is long distance running
which strains the heart and loins harder
than catching boys on the roof in third grade.
If you want love to last, slow your pace
for the original runner from Marathon
ran his fastest and fell over dead on arrival in Athens.
But, I say, to hell with that kind of advice—
if love comes your way, run after it!
Overtake the runner from Marathon—
even if your heart bursts with the effort!