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Two Left Feet

you were perfect there on the coast

you let me come and lose my mind there after

my work was done

you were perfect there by yourself

you were hallucinating rock and roll

music coming up from the sink

as you ran the faucet. you turned thirty

and wrote a creepy message to yourself in lipstick on

the bathroom mirror

that you’ve probably already forgotten

one day you left

you got drunk and woke up with your

clothes on inside out in the

back of your truck

outside of Ashland

and I had no answers for you

the sirens yawned off in the distance

one, two, three times, sending messages through the

small town of Gold Beach, but I didn’t know what any of it meant

a vortex of fluff at your feet

your cat spoke only French

and was no help at all

then there was a dog named Monk

after the one true god of bebop

we used to drink beers as we drove to town

and sit across from each other in dark booths

and those moments grew long

like the shadows they grew beneath

and they are hard to forget

you told an incredible story about dancing

on stage in a Got Cookies? t-shirt four sizes

too big, right in front of the Philharmonic

at a black-tie affair

as their strings whined and the conductor turned black down

to the gristle

before security escorted you away

only then did they agree that it was not actually art

I got in my car and drove all over Oregon

trying to put my mind back together

you were patient

thinking maybe I’d just disappear

and I did

I simply exploded in every direction

at once

you decided to go out to the forest by yourself

for your birthday and find peace

but all you found was a town with a closed bar and

a Wal-Mart parking lot

the seals just bobbed up and down

watching you with curious eyes

next to the old defunct cannery

you dreamed of one day turning into a skating rink

the sirens caterwauled along the coast

one, two, three


while you were away

after all the work was done

and the shuddering moved in

an out-of-focus rush of life

the shedding of rain

off a tar-slick roof

we never found a rhythm that held us

and you told me much later

that it still affected you, to my

dumb surprise

after the coast

the rocking earthquake night

after the treehouse, my

most blessed and beatific domain, aloft of all critters

I lie now in bed

back in the city

in sort of peace and in the dark

just refusing to leave

until I’ve written


and now I’m dreaming in poetry

By Walker Rose


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