All night I had not danced with any girl
and had no intention of asking now
for the last song of the evening,
preferring to go down with my kamikaze,
let the buzz I’d built all night
carry me home to a handmade happiness
and the darkness of my dreams.
Already the bartender was wiping the bar
as the first notes of “Earth Angel” by the Penguins
filled the foggy last lights of the dance floor.
I was looking into my cheap green drink
when I felt a girl’s wrist on my fist.
I was led to the one open slot, as if a pocket
was created just for us to embrace.
She was short and a little thick.
In time she would flesh out to fat,
but what she had kept fit thus far
she leaned into me, and she smiled.
Earth angel, earth angel, the one I adore.
We didn’t so much dance as sway and sway.
I looked down and she raised her face to mine.
I’m just a fool, a fool in love with you.
Then my mouth was on her mouth,
tasting the beer beneath her breath mints,
and now, pressing, the natural thing happened,
but she didn’t draw away, didn’t stop kissing.
What was the world spilled around us.
Earth angel, earth angel, will you be mine?
I saw us together ten years, twenty, fifty,
merry years spread out from this moment.
I saw Christmases, barbeques, baseball games,
all as clearly as if it had already happened.
But she broke our kiss, and when she looked up
at my eyes dreaming, she fell back.
One step, and then she turned.
I didn’t chase after her, only listened
to the song as the last of the light slanted
through shadows of couples galloping and groping,
thinking, Earth angel, earth angel, is there any other kind?

Photo By: Martti Tulenheimo