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.

Get more great poetry, interviews, and reviews delivered straight to your door four times a year. Subscribe now.