I drove the west side of town,
a skeleton carcass surrounded
by bloated poverty.
The old truck stop where we stopped
to kiss. The ghost of strawberries
waft through my nose, a sweet note,
not gone, never forgotten.
Your name began with “J,”
like Julie, Jackie, Jessie, maybe Jo.
I don’t know. I just know the kiss,
the smile, temptation, and the fire
running through those places
a seventeen year-old boy
explores each nigh beneath his blankets.
Funny how you just burst into my dream
like an urgent steam whistle atop a train
clacking down a rusted track
in disrepair like our old west side
empty of our childhood luxuries,
but the memory of your lips pressed
open like a “J” against my tongue.