by Carl Boon
After Kennedy fell, football continued,
and we got wasted Thursday nights
at Clark Bar, scarlet-faced and scanning
the blondes who came and went.
Blatz was a quarter a pint, and Marty,
blonde as corn in June, motioned
with a stitched-up finger to Janey
who sat with a vodka tonic, wishing
it would rain. But always the storm
clouds, which peaked near Decatur,
resisted us and fell away, leaving
September’s heat and the dying fields.
So we went home, looking east and west,
stopping at the juke box for the song
that mattered, that would take us
breathing and whole toward whatever
paradise meant back then. A girl, a boy,
Bobby Darin oohing and aahing and so
unlike us it didn’t matter. We were
scraps of Fords in Aurora, screams
in Bourbonnais, the obstacles of mothers
in Peoria. We danced a bit and, weary
of it all, went for enlightenment
instead. When it didn’t come, Jesus
did, then children and grandchildren
and obscene thoughts about the past.
Janey tonight—so far into the future
of her—sews a granddaughter’s blouse.
Marty moves his hips across a foyer,
staring past Georgia, so wide and forgiving.
Carl Boon lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches American culture and literature at 9 Eylül University. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Lime Hawk and The Lullwater Review. Forthcoming work is scheduled to appear in The Maine Review and The Hawaii Review. He was also a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.