To the Woman I Left at the World’s Fair, 1974.

This poem won Third place in the 2012 2-Day Poem Contest

There you were, an Eastman Kodak girl in a yellow dress,

Orange-lipped and garrulous, offering to take my picture.

 

What was the line I used to scoop you up?

I could spend my whole life measuring

The sweet geometry of your freckles.

 

I recall your voice, suddenly salient

Over Bing Crosby crackling on loudspeakers,

As you promised me your tomorrow.

 

In the entrance to the Soviet Pavilion

I joked that Lenin was staring down your blouse,

And you blushed borsht-red.

 

You agreed to harbour me in your trailer,

Said my exhalations on your eyelashes gave you shivers,

That you couldn’t tell a tickle from a pinch.

 

In your tiny kitchen, you dropped rhubarb into a pan,

Sugared it and spoon-fed me while we watched,

Through clouded windows, the splash of strangers

Coalesce into a throbbing crowd.

 

From May to September, I loved you.

Loved how it took us hours on hours

To wend our way down glassphalt walkways.

 

Forgive me for believing I was smarter than you,

For letting your voice abrade and blend

Into the roller coaster screams.

 

I left you sitting cross-legged on your mattress

Tracing patterns into the freckles on your forearm:

A triangle, a triangle, a triangle, a star.

Published online June 01 2012.

This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.


Poetry Only cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poetry Only,’ the Spring 2013 issue of CV2.

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