Before the Thaw

I ran all the way to The Commons
to catch a glimpse of the celestial
horse sculpted from ice.

Wrong commons.
Not an equine in sight.

I should have looked for the aphrodisiac
telephone (off-white version)
in Boom Park

or veiled lady
in Longfellow Park instead.

I think of the forest
behind Chickering Elementary School
where I would go alone

to kill the loneliness
on a playground where the circle dance
children refused to hold my hand.

Not an equine
or lobster in sight.

Just those hot pink lady’s slippers
to beware. So afraid I would step
on one and go to jail.

Not a seahorse anywhere in sight
to protect me.

That time I tripped on the sidewalk
and bloodied my forehead
when I was 18, truth is

I thought I was tripping
on the absinthe I drank that night
from a bottle a college buddy smuggled

in from Spain. The green fairy
and her powers of suggestion,
my excuse for public drunkenness.

Not a lobster

talking on the phone or riding
a horse in sight. And now it’s too late.

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