With Tommy at the Moberly Drive-In
It was a cool night for July.
The inky air of darkness shimmered with
So many sequined stars and the satellites of
and media waves circled overhead as if they
Were invading. It was Tommy’s truck; a big blue monster
a steer horn hood ornament and a ribbed, not
For my pleasure, prefabricated bed.
Kids played on the playground in front of a big, old screen.
Watched over by parents and lovers alike as I worried about
hard ridges digging cruelly into my naked shorted thighs.
Busying myself in his eyes, blue like the ocean at Navarre Beach in
The panhandle, I smiled at his teasing words and
then forgot them.
One hand lazily fluttering up his wrist, his hair a silky honeysuckle
Thatch, to trace the indigo
paths of his veins.
Then the movie started. Music pouring from the open cab back
Window and from the radios all around us.
I remembered a time when
The sound came crackling from strange metal speaker boxes we had to
Hang on the window.
It was a cartoon; fuzzy from an amateur focus and
I didn’t watch it all the same.
I watched his face. His lashes Longley whispering in blinks and the smooth
Expanse of neck with its vulnerable
throb I love. I would have kissed that
tiny jumping point until I lost myself if I still were young and reckless.
I hadn’t been to a drive-in in years and it was his first time. The sights, the sounds. The crickets giving
an extra kick to the background music and crumpled cola cups And candy wrappers lending us a romantic tone from my mother’s
I don’t remember any of it though, except as borrowed from the grainy hope chest
Of my childhood… that time
when I was a watched child on a rusty swing-set in
What I remember is that the air seemed to be too heavy; keep us too far apart. That His hands have calluses around the
edges but feel like silk on the inside. That his Breath was sweet in my hair and the burn of his hands on my leg was
competing with The bite of those damn ridges which have given me the most of what I’ve carried from That blissful drive-in