Three Poems by Pris Campbell
I always went for the bad boys,
the ones with wild curly hair,
torn jeans, whose shoes hit
the road on a whim, whose kisses
were hard, their loving hot.
The kind of guy you didn’t
bring home to meet mother.
The dull men, ties round
their necks, twenty-year plan
in their briefcase, bored me.
I imagined chaste kisses,
paired with the missionary stance,
no sound escaping pursed lips.
I loved riding the wind
to my next adventure, ignoring
the fact that the wind
might be capricious, a traitor,
and that one day there would be
no bad boy, hard in his jeans,
waiting when the dastardly
funnel at last dropped me.
Bench by the Sea
Your hair’s still thick
but gray now.
Same smile you wooed me with,
broke me with.
You appear just two benches down
from my own favorite bench
by the sea.
I cower, pull my visor lower,
shrink into that same place
you stopped seeing me back then.
I hope the Houdini trick
will work, keep me safe.
The sea is receding.
Gulls cut in closer.
The sun worshipers gather
smart phones and iPads
into colorful bags to leave.
When I dare look again
I see an old man bent
with bread crusts in his hand.
You’re pulling your Houdini
Bring Back the Dead
The woman next door zooms into her driveway,
engines roaring, lip locks the man in dreadlocks
wearing a ‘Bring Back The Dead’ tee, in tight black.
I hear them at night when I let out the dog.
Music soft behind deeper delights
that trigger old memories.
The stars preen for them,
Palms bend in the darkness listening.
Our dog jams his nose to the fence,
ears erect, body en pointe.
You kissed me like that, brought me flowers
for no other reason than the sky didn’t fall.
Your hand in mine, I thought romance
would fast forward forever, that pumpkins
would stay coaches well past midnight.
I’ve forgotten that come hither light in your eyes.
In truth, the candle has burned to the nub in my own.
Trapped by aging and illness, we sit,
barely speaking, never touching, before
you go to your half of the house to think
of what you, too, hoped life might be.