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Scenes From A Friend's Life

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By Edward Curtin

176/365 - Always Kiss Me Goodnight
176/365 - Always Kiss Me Goodnight
(Image by Www.CourtneyCarmody.com/)
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"He's a Walkin' Contradiction, Partly Truth and Partly Fiction"
Kris Kristofferson

It has been many years
And I can't remember
Your name. If you knew
What was good for you

You have forgotten mine.

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Today I heard the song
You played so loud
Over and over again
That night you blasted it
Into us. Janis Joplin belting
Out her wild passion.
"Freedom's just another word ""
You wore your blue dress
Cut low for me,
Which my wife didn't like,
Though I did even though
I didn't tell you.
You drank your wine faster
Than anyone I've ever seen
Because it was obvious
You wanted me and
I wanted your warm
Breasts in my hands.
Poor Janis is dead
But I heard her today
And thought of you. Where
Are you now? Where
Has that night gone?
Yes, it's been many years
Since the night I drove you
Home from the party. You wanted
Me to. We conspired in it
And when we arrived outside
Your house, you said drive
It into me, will you?
Don't you want to?
But I took out my priestly face
And solemnly said, Look
I'm hot for you too,
But I can't it would be
Wrong, I'm married and pure.
You had no idea what I meant
As you sat moaning in your blue dress,
Seeing me mutilate myself
With the cold words of conscience.
That night is gone forever.

By Chance
Huge early morning moon
Through the bathroom window
Pushing its way in.
His future staring there
Through the tall pines
By chance, upon awakening.

This is how it happens.
A man goes out for nails
To fix the leaking roof
Of the house his wife calls
Home. That's the end of him.
No one ever sees him again.
Not a trace of him is found.
No one can explain it.
After a few years the mystery,
Not of his abrupt disappearance,
But of the life he wished to live,
Deepens into a long emptiness
That no one can interpret.
No one tries, for their focus
Is on the way he left,
Not on the truth that he
Never arrived. The roof,
Nailed tight, comforts the wife.
Rain never touches her.

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The Only Time
We met at the wrong time,
Which, as chance would have it,
Is always the right time. No one
Who doesn't know will ever know
What passion can do to calendars.
Over the subject of death we first
Laid eyes on each other. Teacher
And student in heated dialogue.
Such lessons, long discussions of how
Living and dying were born together,
How death brought living to life
And life gave dying to death.
Eyes. Words. Then hands slowly
Held in the terror of turning
A corner from which there was no
Return. Down the road we went
Until our hands found other places
To rest. As spring became summer
And the sun stood utterly still,
Holding its breath in anticipation
Of a great turning point,
We became one under the perfect gaze
And blessing of a luminous full moon,
Made love to a regal rhythm
Unknown to us before this time,
The right time, the wrong time.
The only time there was.
The only time there is.

(Article changed on September 15, 2016 at 09:28)

(Article changed on September 15, 2016 at 09:32)

(Article changed on September 15, 2016 at 10:52)

(Article changed on September 15, 2016 at 11:16)


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Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

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