[7.13 / November 2012]

Four Poems

I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet (#5)

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There’s a space between us, I shout, but Cammie thinks I’m speaking in car-lengths. Above us, an aluminum net sparks & whirrs. We pin a young boy’s bumper car into a corner & laugh like Kansas is on fire. She tells me she likes my gold stripes, the way they sparkle like busted headlights on the turnpike. We park our vehicles & I tell her sometimes I try to write & 2% milk pours from my head. She buys an ice cream cone from a man with three disparate chins. I say I’m lactose intolerant, but I hide it well & she lets rocky road drip in between her knuckles. We stand in line at the teacups & decide that sitting in dishware is for ladles.

I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet (#17)

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I meet Marcella in coach, aisle three. Her posture suggests she once was an inner tube. I whisper lines from a Taoist quote book & imagine my feet as heavy mallets. The floor hums beneath my rubber appendages. I nickname her Elastic & blink braille onto a napkin from inside my eyelids. Those bumps mean ‘reduction, deflation,’ I tell her, & these bumps ‘turquoise.’ She admits defeat & orders a light beer from the drink cart. In five minutes, I have her blowing hot air into familial recollection. She says my father was a manual pump, my mother an inflated dolphin with a tear in its stomach. I steal coffee beans from the snack cart & spell out resolution on her tray table. I spell out connection & fate. She writes her number on a water balloon & slips it between my thighs.

I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet (#20)

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Barbara cuts my mess into a pompadour & I feel like James Dean or Rihanna for a moment. There’s a line that stretches into the road, so I ask her if she’s ever been to Finland & how long she thinks my sideburns should be. She tells me yes, & in Finland they have bare faces. I think about bending her over a booster seat, but instead say it’s Tuesday-nice weather, for a Tuesday. She agrees & stencils a flame into the side of my head. I pray to the ceiling that she landscape my hair with her fingertips just one more time. She brushes my face with a towel, & I pray for a power outage. I pray it rains sideways so we can dance like broken clippers in the street.

I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet (#25)

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Darla picks the high-top table in the corner. She says I want to catch them cheating & stomp out their smart phones like a gorilla. I tell her don’t get too worked up about it, it’s only bar trivia, then take two shots of whiskey & begin beating my chest & chanting vulgarities. Darla wants the team name to be “My Couch Pulls Out, but I Don’t” or “Wilford Brimley’s Mustache,” but I tell her that’s rookie shit & write down “I Cry When I Throw Up” in bold letters. The old couple next to us stares & I secretly think about spilling hot soup into Grampa’s lap.

Round two ends & Darla looks silently defeated. We are in fourth place & I misspelled “Mediterranean Sea” on question twelve. It is 9:30 & the bartender has margaritas pouring out of his shirtsleeves. I turn to Darla & say you look like a poached chimpanzee. She smiles loosely & carves a hash mark on the back of her hand with a tiny plastic sword.

Dillon J. Welch is a writer from Southern New Hampshire. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Word Riot, Red Lightbulbs & others. Dillon is a founding editor of the literary journal Swarm. To shop for new & used landscaping equipment, visit: http://embellishthelawnmower.com