I am in San Diego and because of it, the sun seems to have left the city.
But I am in San Diego! I am here visiting my friend Hanna, and generally being lazy and having a fantastic time. I met a woman from France at my hostel last night, and awkwardly exposed myself as completely obsessed with her country. She told me that I was not allowed to visit until I could sing their national anthem. It doesn’t help that I just finished watching Midnight in Paris. It was delightful. I am now certain I need to get there as soon as possible. I’m aiming for October. What better way to ring in my 26th year, but in a country that promotes decadent food and wine? And making out? Also, there’s the countryside? And there’s the making out? Oh France, true country of my origin. How have we let so much time get between us? Clearly this German/Irish background thing I have going on is a hoax.
As per usual, I have been struggling to keep up on the poems for 30/30. But I will finish them all, don’t you worry. I said a while back that I would take suggestions for writing prompts. This poem has been inspired by the suggestion of one Ms. Anna Haskin. She proposed that I write about “saving something.” Right now, I need to save this 30/30; I feel so behind! Be prepared for some haiku. Maybe more than you might be expecting….First, though, I have a poem for one of my bar regulars. It was his birthday on Sunday, and I promised him a poem. Here you go, Leslie. I’m eagerly awaiting that mix tape.
A Poem for Stephen Leslie
Imagine your regulars in any other bar
especially this one
This one, with the unfortunate name,
and its entire wall of margarita machines
You’ve accidentally picked up a Belgium
a young man, who is so young
you actually laugh when he tells you his age
Maybe your friends from home would sing
Eager to get their turn at karaoke
doing Johnny Cash in San Diego
He orders a Coors Light
shakes his head at the tequila
I need to get home to dinner
if you talk about music that’s obscure enough
Keep you company
Give your limitless vacation
a frame to fall back on
If you’re honest,
you’re only a little uncomfortable
Ready to return and wipe down your bar
Make conversation with the men
who always come back to you.
This tall barista is probably your future husband
The whole reason
you were drawn to California to begin with
Consider his hands
the way he tamps the ground espresso
Hands you your chocolate croissant
You’ve been here nearly thirty minutes
Any moment now,
he’ll step around the counter
sheepish but sure
Gather you in his arms, or,
get down on one or both of his knees, or,
push aside everything on the counter
lay you down in front of the customers.
The universe has complete disregard
for etiquette in the face of honest love
But my student debt, you protest
The job I never want to leave!
What about that summer in Paris,
when I bet on the wrong thing, again?
I needed that bitterness for my writing
Future husband doesn’t care
Approaches with a solemn
understanding of his job
He has future flowers to buy
and future children to raise
with your future and apparently
How dare he make you
compromise your dreams?
Does he think his clean haircut
is reason enough
to reject grad school
Buy some real estate and
take up knitting?
They don’t even need wool in
He’s rendering you useless
The whole thing exhausts you
your disposition is reeling
anxious for solid ground
It would be best,
to stay for another cup of coffee
Have lunch, continue to write
Why not give him thirty minutes more