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Letting Go

At age 80, I guess I am OK with dying—but not today.

And not on Mondays when I deliver Meals on Wheels to a dozen 80-year-old ladies who lay in wait to adore my presence.

Not on Tuesdays when I play a quickie nine-hole round of golf with Fred and Marcie.

Wednesdays would not be a good time to die because that is when the Swanson twins and I get together for a game of Cribbage. They are so well preserved; I think they will live to 100. 

Thursdays? No. Thursdays are the days when I visit my dear Freida’s gravesite to kneel and to place fresh daisies on her stone.

And not Fridays, that’s when I babysit my five grandkids while their mom does a week’s worth of grocery shopping.

Cannot do it on Saturdays, that’s when I clean house.

I’ve become too crippled to mow my lawn so a sprite ten-year-old kid from down the block mows it for free because he thinks I'm gonna die if I do it.

As for Sundays, all of my kids and grandkids pile on for a Sunday feast of my special mushroom and onion gravy on whipped potatoes and my slow-cooked balsamic vinegar pot roast.

I guess I am OK with dying—but not today.

Returnee: Hot Blood

Everybody knew when Buck shoved
that cheapo wedding ring onto Sue’s dainty finger,
it was a misfit.
Tough shit that Sue couldn’t have known about the real scene
between me and Buck.
She barely knew him when he popped the question,  
just one day after he came home
from active duty, over there.

Tho his blood was not in heat for their honeymoon night
at the nicest cleanest Motel Six down on Canyon Street,
he bitched that he had a crushing headache
and she’d just have to wait to get nailed
til he was good and ready.
Good Sue, she filled him a bucket of ice
to soothe his troubled head.

But the way he’d figured,
it’d look better to town folk
if, next time on leave,
he’d come back to a cozy home
with clean sheets and homecooked goodies.

Buck's only two days back in the states.
Him and me are doing shooters
as fast as old Joey B. can pour them.
Buck’s got time off,
confused and grieving in this shithole bar,
telling when he first got back home
how he ground that crummy ring into
her bony knuckles,
then twisted her wrists
into the color of bad plums.
And now, he’s telling how much he craves
the stench of men in trenches
and the wild rush he gets
in the heat of battle.

As we douse our pity in a bucket
of brew and a few more shooters,
he's gripping my groin like the iron jaws of a vice,
saying he knew all along
how wrong he'd been about the war;
how he knew all along
how wrong he had been about wedding her.

His lust for man sweat has brought him back
to me — again.
He wants to know Can I help him, please?
I tell him,
Yeah, I always knew you’d come back.

So we slip out back to an alley so black
I don't know him from me;
not like when him and me were boys,
discovering each other,
growing leg hair,
chiseling silly love hearts into the bark
of an ancient cottonwood in Chapel Park.

Now, we’re simmering man parts,
so long apart, I’d forgot the sweet sweat from his neck.
How I used to tug his chest hair
between my teeth as I sucked his nipples.
But he yelps my name to remind me
You are mine.

He draws blood as he bites my tongue.
And just like when we wrestled as teenagers,
he pins me flat on dirt.
I’m ecstatic
to be his bottom man.

Sir, yes Sir! I shout,
as a trickle of warm spit hits my lip;
then I stretch upward for his bone.

Oh no ya don't! he commands,
then heaves me into his arms
with the kiss of a lifetime lover.

You can go down on me if ya want, he whispers,
but if ya really wanna give me a rush,
I beg you to bind me and shame me,
swallow me in your embrace
then haul me back to the stench of the trenches.