POEMS


Diamond Head

Tim picked me up at the American Airlines gate.  It was about 10pm Hawaiian time, and 7 back in L.A.  But when one’s guts churn the way mine do, the hour is irrelevant.  After several hours at Don the Beachcomber’s, Tim took me to the room that he’d checked into the day before.  I was less than thrilled to see only one king-sized bed.  I was weary when I crawled beneath the sheets like a seal calf escaping a Japanese slaughter.  It wasn’t long before Tim began his advances, pawing at my back.  He wanted to do more than count sheep.  Unknowingly and carelessly, I’d set a precedent several months back on one of those dark androgynous nights when Lori was away.   I lay there pretending to be passed out or dead like one of the butchered seals, which wasn’t a stretch.    I was only 19, but the legal age in Waikiki was 18 and the summer night was hot, damp, and drenched in gallons of sin provoking ether.  Even I had become unaware of the level of intoxication I’d soared to or plummeted, depending on the breath or perspective.  The high test Peruvian flake we snorted in between drinks had become an invariable similar to the X’s, Y’s, and O’s that appeared on Professor Shehanns blackboard while I flunked Algebra One in the ninth grade.  My speech was the only true barometer to testify to what level my blood alcohol had reached.  When I approached a table of what appeared to have been four nubile bachelorettes, all my cards were laid upon the table with one ugly mouthful.  My attempt at suave more resembled a gopher coming out of his hole on ground hog day than the charismatic delivery from a blown dried, hey baby, stud muffin.  Their looks of disgust were generous when I heard for myself the words that dribbled from my lips and splattered on the starched teal cotton cocktail tablecloth.  There sitting before my eyes like indelible ink on an international contract was my attempt at a pick up line.  “You girlzz wannnnna paaartyyy,” was the deal breaker.  I was happy when Tim gave up and went to sleep.