Split Seconds

Split Seconds

On Valentine’s Day,
standing dizzy on a dry summer country road,
between weekend dances in different towns,
sweet 16 and finally kissed.

 My eccentric English professor,
slapping down his briefcase once, twice, three times
on his table at the front of the room,
opened the clasp, drew out our first papers,
and chose mine as the one to read aloud.

I felt the gun barrel pressed against my head,
heard the gun fire,
fell into the street and rose above
to see them lift his wounded body into a taxi,
my body lying in the street.

The woman in the dream
walked toward me across the barroom,
threw her drink in my face,
then hit me over the head with the glass
and I woke up soaking wet, with a knot on my head,
screaming, “Just wake up!”

I saw him for the first time
on the stage at the little coffee shop in Santa Monica
reading love poems he’d written to another woman,
and it was as though I’d been with him
for my whole life. Then afterwards,
I was with him for the rest of his.

He met me
at the plane
with a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup and a rose.
Hours later, in his kitchen,
after the long ride southward,
luggage spilled sideways on the floor—
another long-delayed
first kiss.


The NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.”

8 thoughts on “Split Seconds

  1. Pingback: Cusps | serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    First, LOVE your watch. I had one similar to it that broke and I couldn’t find anyone to repair it. Garry had (has) a spectacular one — but again, no one will work on silver except natives and there aren’t many around these parts.

    I wanted to mention that we had been disconnected (again) by WordPress (again). I was picking up your blog from twitter, so I hadn’t noticed I wasn’t getting in via email until I suddenly realized that many MANY blogs are missing from my subscribed list and probably they’ve been dropping away for a while. I suppose that’s my punishment for rarely using the reader. Anyway, we’ve reconnected, at least from my end. Every time WP updates, they dump material from our subscription lists. And they never ever admit it was their fault OR fix the problem. Sigh.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks for rejoining me, Marilyn. I’ve been in Guadalajara for two days so must get posted.. finally home. It was sooooo hot there and huge fire on way back held up traffic for ages…



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