The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.

JANUARY 12, 2013 3:41PM

To Christine, Whom I Loved Because Another Would

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She was young, like me, almost too quiet for my taste.
Fair–dark brown hair. She was from Tennessee,
with advantages over me. An upbringing
surrounded by books and sensitivity–
perhaps too much of the latter,
but now it doesn’t matter.

Christine, I have only lately understood
I loved you because another would.

We flirted with our eyes, but nothing more
until another paid her attentions with
a smile that was more like a leer.
We were all pimpled then–
boys, far short of being men,
impelled by innate forces that pushed us forward,
like the surf, that we could not resist even if we would.

Christine, I’m not sure you understood–
I loved you because another would.

Why had I hesitated until then?
I can’t recall; I saw only the
looks of other men in the hall.
There is something in young men of
Emulation, that causes them
to contest a woman even when no love is there.

We shared a bed just once
Before year’s end, but I by
that stroke prevailed over others.

Christine—I’d recall the time if I could—
I loved you because another would.

We parted for the summer, you got an apartment,
I went home to haul ice.
We corresponded, as freshmen would,
with irony and imagery. We swore
we’d reunite in Chicago. I begged leave to go,
and rode a bus eight hours to be with you
from a Main Street where the
big attraction was a man who could imitate a cow.

Christine, fine and good;
I loved you because another would.

From afar, you were what I wanted,
but when I arrived, and there was nothing
between us but two t-shirts and pairs of jeans,
in the absence of another who wanted you,
my passion seemed a sham.
We made love that second time.
I left, and there was nothing more.
Forty years this summer have now gone by.

Christine, forgive me if you could;
I loved you because another would.

Someone asked—what happened that night?
“Nothing,” I said, and you may take that as you will.
We want what we do not have—
this all will learn. But we want what others want as well.
Tonight, I am sick with drink and cannot
staunch incoming tides of wine, red like
the blush that came to your cheeks
‘neath the lights of 57th Street that
shined through your window.

Author tags:

regret, poetry, poem

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You do the blues so well.
I'd a similar experience with Justine.
Gosh darn it. The world was new.
On the other hand, Kiki dropped me like a hot rock.