Sunday, July 15, 2018

Florida Again by Randall Mann


Florida Again

             I forgave myself for having had a youth.
                                                    —Thom Gunn 

At the Fashion
Square mall,
back
of Waldenbooks, 

I saw my younger self
haunting
the magazine rack.
Ripping out pages 

of Blueboy,
tucking them 
in a Trapper
Keeper. 

Turn back.
His eyes met mine,
animal
and brittle, 

a form
of gratitude
that a man
kept his stare. 

Any man.
I half-smiled
some admission,
and though 

he couldn’t
see it coming,
I excused him
his acid jeans; 

two Swatch
watches,
two guards.
He, I, 

must have been
nineteen:
sex was “safer”
then— 

scribbles
on the mall
men’s room stall;
malaise 

of saxophone
and PSAs.
How
did I 

even
learn how to live
in 1991?
Landlocked, 

cock-blocked,
Spanish moss
festering.
I forgive him.

 

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