If Only

There was nothing soft about her fragrance
That whiskey breath
Could peel the chrome off the bumper
Of my ’83 Chevy
But god-damn I loved her
We’d sit with the tailgate down
Drinking beers
Talking shit with a lullaby moon
And dripping stars
Just the two of us
Pulled off a lonesome country road
Surrounded by nothing but dreams

Who could forget that time 
I went to take a piss
And a raccoon jumped out
From behind a tree
I screamed like a little girl
Got piss all over myself
And she laughed so hard
Beer shot out from her nose
I’d never seen anything so beautiful
God-damn, I loved her

But anyone who drinks that hard
Has something they’re trying to forget
And I knew; she told me everything
It takes a lot of pills
And even more booze
To forget something like that
She swore she’d never say goodbye
It’d be too hard
One day, she’d just be gone
And I believed her
But we had a lot of nights like those
Mad Dog philosophers
Running down this star, and that star
What ifs and what could be
-If only

I’d lie there and watch her dance
In the bed of my truck
Skirt twirling, hands weaving overhead
I suppose she’s still dancing
Up there, somewhere, among the stars
I hope she looks down on me once in a while
And understands how sorry I am
I wasn’t enough
I couldn’t give her a way out
From everything she carried inside
She’d cry and say just hold me
Tell me one more time
About someday and maybes,
About a house, a dog, 
a silly picket fence, green grass,
a garden, a couple of kids running around, 
a real family, a home . . . our home
-If only

There’ll always be a part of her with me
One long summer that never ends
Sitting on that tailgate
In some god-forsaken cornfield
Drinking beers, the sound of her laughter
That look in her eye, right before
She kissed me
My first
And as far as I’m concerned
My last
Just a couple of dreamers
Who had nothing in the world
But each other

-from Bobby to Annie; wherever you are

111 comments

      1. I’ve always been attracted to your writing, but let me be honest, I think you have recently exploded into sth unpredictably beautiful, raw in expression, sadder, darker and even brutal at times. Now I’m trying to be as objective as possible. Bottom line is although there’s nth I love more than such pieces, it is still YOU who’s not afraid to change and experiment and who’s evolved into a force to be reckoned with.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. This is one to keep and re-read. (Insert deep sigh…) This takes me immeasurably far away, but nowhere specific and nowhere too gloomy even. It’s one of those sweet, tragic parts of this so-called lifetime–the moments, times, people, years even, that impact us the most that we simply couldn’t trade or erase, even though we couldn’t hang on to it, those, them, because nothing compares to, nothing nears such soulful connections. I believe in understanding and even reuniting eventually. Somehow. Somewhere. Until then, the end, the beginning, we simply must part, it seems.

    I disagree with readers who think you’re getting so good: you’ve always been so good, in my opinion. I’ve never once been disappointed reading your poetry. It does seem you have an increased and fuller, more personal presence, though, lately, and I do like that. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I haven’t seen a post from you in my reader for quite some time. So I just checked and I am no longer following you. You are the third person in the past two days that I have found this problem with. I assume it’s a glitch on WordPresse’s end, but it’s pretty annoying.

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment. It’s great when someone can connect with something I have written. That’s all I’m really looking for.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It says you’re a follower on my end now and that I’m following you. I’ve come and gone a lot the past year, though. (Bad mental year.) My blogs and posts have had a tendency to self-destruct. I hope to stay put now though. You’re a good role model for that. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

  2. what a treacherous, treacherous thing love is– takes away the only real thing we ever chose to call our own. wonder why she had to leave. why do the best things in life always have to leave?

    this is good poetry. love the country setting and the daunting. softness of solitude. i dont believe in the idea of love, but i swear, poetry like this is the closest i’ll ever get to it. thank you for this wonderful experience.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I read this, i am deeply impressed, re-read it and gets the clear view so vivid. But ‘If Only’ is the stress, then our lives ought to have only one ‘only’ for each one of us. I love the flow, the deep sense it makes and moreso, the rich language-i can not ignore this. I have gone literally through all the comments and indeed i can re-affirm to you that my predecessors were a tepresentative of what i have in my mind. This is an August poem, so noble indeed. I will have to re-read it, again and again, perhaps i will get a 3D view of it. Love your work bro. Keep it up. God bless.

    Liked by 2 people

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