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May 31, 2013 | Poetry

Love Poem

Caleb Curtiss

Love Poem photo

 

Saw a dog today on my way to the bar
that made me wish we hadn’t put Eileen to sleep,
but then it was on to meet Charlie, who I discovered upon my arrival
had already smoked something like three cigarettes
and was over halfway done with his second beer
because he was waiting for me to finish writing this poem,
which I thought was going to be a much
quicker endeavor than it proved to be.
See if you can go back and make it shittier, Charlie said
because Charlie is always up for challenging societal norms,
but then we stopped talking about poems, which was a relief,
and started talking about things like rats and snakes
fighting each other: Do you think a very big rat
could beat a medium-sized boa constrictor
? Charlie asked,
which led to some argument over whether big meant fat
or muscular, which was resolved when we both agreed
that we’d never seen a particularly muscular rat
and so then we had our answer. 
After that it was two medium-sized rats
and a larger than usual boa constrictor, and so on
before we got bored of animals and started talking about humans.
Do you think Dan could beat up D’Andre if he really had to?
And after discussing D’Andre’s fashion sense and Dan’s Honda
we had our answer,
and so we moved on to the question of whether Greg
could beat up the bartender, which was a slam dunk for Greg
and his tie and his blue eyes and his bald head,
and so then we modified our terms. What if Greg was drunk
and the bartender was sober and had a Swiss Army Knife
?
and so on,
until we refilled our beers a few more times
and Charlie wanted to know if I would rather kill my wife
or all of the dogs in the world,
except he didn’t say “all of the dogs in the world,” he said
“all dogs”:
would you kill Sarah or all dogs?
and even though his syntax was a little awkward,
I got his gist
and I thought about it,
and then,
after I clarified whether or not I’d have to do these things myself
or employ the services of a contractor,
I gave it a few more seconds
and then
I gave him my answer
and so then we had our answer.
 

image: Andromeda Veach


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