sometimes you are
my favourite reggae band blasting
top down
(so everyone can see us)
in dad’s old chevy in
californian air as you
kiss me
with rhythm and blues and irresistible calypso.

and sometimes you are
a breathy message
left on my answering machine at
four in the morning
‘come pick me up’ because
you made out with a foreign freshman
and the taste of his
gin never left your breath.


she was a simple girl who
loved gardenias as much as
her own mother.

she picked him
forget-me-nots on their very first date
when he held her hand and said she was pretty

and when he was away she was
and empty

and he loved to make her cry but
she loved gardenias even more

and she would throw rose petals in his footprints where
his boots left muddy marks

and one afternoon
he destroyed the garden while
she was planting daisies.


Halfway between autumn and her fall,
He pulled her in to snap a picture and ended up
Taking a video instead.

And if he hadn’t deleted it he would have witnessed
2 glorious seconds of blithe beauty.
A Chiclet-smile,
Eyes in heaven,
Rosy radiance flushed her cheeks.
The camera clicks but the film is still rolling and
Her eyes glaze over and
The smile evaporates like day-old milk and
She lowers her head and
Dusk creeps over her collarbones.

And it was the last time
She ever smiled for a camera.