He came back from the army with no hair,
a razor job, and that's what got me thinking
how ugly he was: all bones and freckles where
his chestnut bangs had been. We went out drinking
and I broke up with him; his tearful pleas
embarrassed me. They shipped him overseas.
My older brother had him over. "Seize
the day," I figured, letting down my hair,
then spent the next four years trying to please
that callous motherfucker. What was I thinking?
He only wanted me when he'd been drinking.
But he knew what to do, and how, and where.
He did the lambada, wholly unaware
how silly he looked. He'd come from overseas,
Hungarian, I think: "Let me keep dreenking
in the sight of you, your leeps, your hair..."
I sang his praises, loudly, later, thinking,
"He's corny, but at least he aims to please."
His eyes were blue, his face designed to please
the eye, an Irishman. I'd make him wear
blue shirts. But as I kissed him, I'd be thinking
about his poor fiancee overseas.
And so I'd cry, and muss his rusty hair;
then both of us would laugh and keep on drinking.
He picked me up one night when I'd been drinking
(he was a taxi driver). I said, "Please
pull over"; he obliged, and held my hair.
That weekend he wore Tarzan underwear.
But college had me frantic over Cs,
and he preferred me when I wasn't thinking.
He'd robbed a bank and gone to prison, thinking
he'd find his stash and spend all summer drinking
once he got out. But the god who oversees
the fates of losers foiled him. "Honey, please,
I'll pay you back tomorrow." Everywhere
he went, he spent. But he had lovely hair.
If you've any comment on this poem, R. Kelleher would be pleased to hear from you.