That day, I sat on the freezing linoleum floor,
flipping through LPs, checking out her records.
I was picking her up. And she wasn’t ready yet.
She’d answered the door in her robe. Let me in.
Made an excuse. And went back to her bedroom.
At last, she came out naked to the waist. No bra,
no blouse. It was nineteen seventy-four, America
stretching to see if it might be a free country or
on its way to becoming a much better republic,
and so I tried not to stare. I was high on weed.
Had found the record Grievous Angel by Gram
Parsons. My friend and I weren’t intimate then.
Or not like Gram Parsons and Emmylou were.
And all I wanted was to hear Emmylou Harris
harmonize with her dead-angel on “Love Hurts”.
I put the record on the player. Started the song.
Some humans stop talk when they enter a room.
Which is to say, they are spectacular and used to
allowances being made for that which astonishes.
She walked to the sink. Turned a spigot and let it
run loud enough you couldn’t hear anything else.
Not saying she disliked Parsons or was a believer
in the dictum that love and finding love involves
pain. Just that, when she turned toward me again
it was, I think now, to announce These are mine--
those breasts superseding the flame of last light
shawling faultless shoulders. When she moved
forward, it wasn’t to be kissed. Or so I thought.
But then there was singing, steel-guitar music
of a most magical kind, and we were kissing.