W.D. Ehrhart


Country: United States
Language(s): English

Not for You

The man with your name and your life
isn’t you. Okay, yes, he’s got your name,
and yes it’s your life; okay,
but he can’t be you. His hair’s turning gray,
his wife’s turning the corner on her way to work,
and he’s going nowhere. Not
in all your dreams did your ever imagine
you would come to this: a small life,
a few friends, a lot of dreams
that came and went, an ordinary life.

You always knew an ordinary life
wasn’t for you.

Oh, not for you with the wind
at your heart and the ache in your soul
about to take wing like a bird.
This can’t be you. There’s some mistake.

The First French Kiss

I’ve forgotten the pain
of being fifteen and alone
with fiery-haired beautiful Ann Broderick,
girl I’d adored all year,
who suddenly found me attractive
in the back seat of Max Hunsicker’s car
parked in a lane off Hilltown Pike,
me with mush for a brain and a heart
beating for all it was worth.

I’ve forgotten how we came
to an end because I couldn’t
stop asking myself why
she wanted me now
when not before,
me the same kid as before:
taller, thinner, more
a young man than a boy,
but the same kid still
in the place where the pain lives.

But I’ve forgotten all that.
I’ve forgotten everything
except the way her tongue was in my mouth,
the warmth of it, the wetness of it,
promise of what I hardly dared
imagine, the woman’s smell of her,
me with my too tight jeans
and my hands in all that hair.