re-posted, revised

Italian Sodas in Thirty Four Flavors

What if you were born in Alliance, Nebraska,
Only to find that you looked your best in a white dinner jacket?
What if you found out that the thing you cared the most about wasn’t cattle,
But the ancient medallion patterns in Sarouk rugs?

At school he would beg for Art History
and they would tell him next year, next year,
but it always got canceled at the last minute,
replaced by a section of advanced shop; this semester:
The Construction of the Diesel Engine.

And then there were the girls,
The ones he had to dance with at the Harvest Dance
And the Spring Dance and after every rodeo to avoid being found out,
To avoid being beaten with bottles and fists and flat boards
Found in a pile behind the gymnasium.

He held the girls close and made up things to whisper
Into their small, shell-like ears and too-delicate necks.
He kept his eyes down and free of longing
For the ones he longed for, the ones who danced in circles past him
Without notice, though he suspected some noticed but could not speak.

Finally alone, he read movie magazines beneath plaid wool blankets.
He looked at the glossy pictures of Hollywood and Vine,
Tan boys on surfboards ,,, endless summers.
Why wouldn’t Los Angeles be the promised land?
Eight lane highways and streetlights that stay on all night,
Stoplights that don’t give up and begin to flash yellow at ten p.m.

Think of what he loved and had never had before,
Festivals of Italian films from the fifties, Italian sodas in thirty four flavors,
Italian linen jackets in colors called wheat and indigo,
The ocean and restaurant coffee at two a.m. and the L.A. Contemporary,
And men.

Suddenly to have the privilege of wearing your own skin,
The headlong rush of love, the loss of the knifepoint of loneliness.
That was the true life, the one he would admit to.
Why even mention the past? It was not his past.
He was a changeling, separated at birth from his own identity.

Poetry by Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 466 times
Written on 2016-03-30 at 06:07

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France England
Yeah, the ride of a road map drawn by others as I special one knows this is the plan of others; his own vision lost at sea. What one should be as directed by the world of worlds ought to be considered a major crime. The pressure of the left hand fighting it out with the left is no more that ice cream without the cake; a pleasure but no real joy. To be or only seen as being one that fits in isn't the question anymore. Let life live and it will give a great reward if left to be; free and willing to share. The best play lines in a clever way that held my attention from the start to finish. There stood a passion that seemed as if it was from mother to child and without a cloud in the sky smiled as the sun could only shine as if to wipe the tears away. Genius!

Aye, tis a privilege, indeed.
Cannot find the praise worthy of this piece.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is very nice, Ashe. I wonder if things have changed much in Alliance. Probably not. Here outside of Omaha, they have, for the better. I work with a guy who's from Columbus, Nebraska, and he has a bumper sticker on his car which says, "I'm so gay I can't even drive straight."

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
A wonderful piece. The world can be so cruel to some just trying to be themselves.

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
a beautiful remembrance, beautifully expressed.

Nancy Sikora The PoetBay support member heart!
"He was a changeling, separated at birth from his own identity." Wonderful line. I think that happens to a lot of people.