Monday, October 1, 2012

The Lover's Kiss Never Kissed

my life was crazy then
as a young man's should be.
I'd cashed in my three cherries
packed up my old car
and aimed for Texas

but lacking spurs and a stetson
Texas just seemed big and lonely
so I turned my pony towards Florida
just because it wasn't Texas

out of gas in Tampa
and ninety-cents short of a dollar,
I looked up an old friend
with a couch
and took a job at ABC liquor

one day, as i
stocked scotch for
retired magicians
and mad dog 20-20
for those that never
learned the trick,
the beer man came in

"man," he said shaking his head,
as he paused and leaned upon
the wheeler of beer,
"you oughta see this chick
over at The Duke!"

"Oh, yeah?" I kept shootin
the price sticker gun,
but listened

his words grew Popeye
to the telling

"I ain't shittin ya, Dude,
prettiest thing I've ever seen."
then he tipped the wheeler back
and headed for the cooler

now, I have a lot of respect for beer men,
so after work, I stopped off at The Duke
for a cold one, just to see

and there she was.
the beer guy hadn't lied, and in fact,
hadn't done her justice

if there was ever such a thing
as pure perfect physical beauty
it was right here, in brunette
and blue jeans, and in her smile
as she brought my beer

the bar was quiet, so we talked
then i went back the next day
and talked some more
then the next, and so on...
her name was Pam

we went out
clubs, dancing, dinner, a movie,
I met her friends, and she mine
and I bought her things
with money I didn't have
just cuz I wanted to be a part
of her beauty

I bought her a pair of black pants
which is still the best thirty bucks
I ever layed upon the altar

but never did I kiss her a lover's kiss
though desperately, I wanted to

oh, we held hands, she sat on my lap,
there were hugs and gentle kisses,
just never the lover's kiss

because I was afraid-
afraid her lips were too pretty for mine
that her perfect breasts and
moist treasure
could never really be given to me, and
afraid she was saving those things
for someone better, whom
she hadn't yet met.

and even though she gave me no reason to doubt
and in fact, I think encouraged,
i was afraid to bet what I'd already won and lose it
on what seemed to me, as the greatest of long shots

I've always been insecure,
always thought myself not enough,
but even more so then
and especially, with her

so when spring came along
and a day for leaving
I went to see her at The Duke
to say goodbye, and I guess hope
she wouldn't let me

there, in the bar, in the kitchen,
she hugged me, then held me tight,
told me how she'd miss me
and kissed me softly

and when she drew back,
I watched her wipe
real tears that were falling

I should have been Cary Grant right then
forced her lips with my tongue,
carried her off to Kilimanjaro
or at least,
tell her that I'd never leave
-and i almost did

but then i looked down at the cutting board behind her
and noticed the onions she had been chopping
so instead, I forced a smiled,
turned, and walked away

I never saw her again
and we never wrote

that was thirty-two years ago
and I still don't know