As a teenager, like so many others of our narrow minded, obsessed gender, I imagined myself a great lothario, girls on the edge of womanhood lining up for my attention.
The absurdity of that dream was lost on me and my peers, testosterone drowning it in a sea of hormones, and we were oblivious to the real obstacle always right in front of us, that we imagined love and sex in the first person only.
Now that youth and even middle age are behind me I still try to recall when I realized that love requires the second person singular, and my pleasure is complete only when my partner’s is as well.
I fell deeply in love with her standing in a small jeweler’s shop in Bangor, Wales on a November morning. In truth, cradling a small silver Celtic cross in my hands I knew then that I taken that plunge within moments of our meeting and recognition of it was all that remained.
You came into my life last week, your name forever locked away inside her mind. My life, she felt, would never be the same and therefore left all thought of you behind. You loved her, I suppose, that summer night then left her, bearing me, until she turned me over for adoption, that she might forget the love that you so quickly spurned. A Jew, she said, but would say little more a father, Portuguese, is all I know, who cast his seed, then left and closed the door and me, the son, he never would see grow. You left her life long before I was born, the father I won’t know but only mourn.
First published in Minison Project, Sonnet Collection Series, Vol. 2, Sept. 2021
Just outside town in the old dump is a slab of concrete its twisted edges pierced by rusting rebar once the floor of the gazebo in the commons. Etched into its surface Jim + Marie Janet Loves Eddie. Their loves were undying cast into stone to wear slowly through the ages not to fall victim to the jackhammer. Jim lies under the simple stone “Sgt. U. S. Army Served Vietnam,” Marie left for college but came home, a nurse at the Community Hospital now divorced with two daughters. Eddied married Sue, three times runner up for homecoming queen and lives in a trailer by the county line. Janet waits tables in the coffee shop at Caesar’s Palace while her husband, whom she met at the truck stop, deals blackjack in the casino. Their son lives in San Francisco with his lover, but they haven’t spoken to him in more years than they can remember. The old gazebo was replaced years ago by the giant steel play gym.