all the subarus in ballard and all the boys i never married

all the subarus in ballard and all the boys i never married
by rachel
if my electricity
could prod your electricity
into sparking and sputtering
back to life,
i would give you
nine tenths of my battery
(cus the fuckin alternator’s
gone out again, dammit

and gawd knows mine
is prolly on the way too).
raised in church and all i got
was a jesus complex.
a somethin complex –
thinkin about the pastor’s legs,
from when i saw him runnin
cross the bridge,
clear past the county line
saturday last.
these are not the things
a good church-going girl
is suppose to think about.
so i will not marry michael,
daddy’s last hope.
the boy who sings all
basso, thinks profoundly
of his god and his mother.
daddy always wanted me
to get on well with the
pastor’s boys (if only cus
he always wanted
to get on well
with the pastor’s wife).
but six sons down (never mind
the ten-years gap) and not a one
ever asked permissions.
now they’re thinning at the temples
and thinning round the nucleus –
their mama (grandmama now
to their six sons apiece)
always made bread like
daddy’s mama and she knew
the best way to patch
trouser pockets
and broken families.
but she’s going grey at the
seams from too many washings,
and looking far too hung-out-to-dry
with her sad empty home,
too big for two
loveless spinster spouses.
the pastor’s youngest son
is living in a shack,
tattooed and dirty-like
(the way i always seem
to like them best).
but even caught together
at some slum party, the bachelor
benchmark pressed deep
into his palms,
and we remembered each other
as the kids our parents warned us about
(pastor always knew
that the public schooled babies
of broken families turned out
the worldliest, and daddy
never liked that youngest son was
my own age. “too close for comfort,”
he used to mutter,
like he’d caught our
ten-year-old hands
doing grownup things
in between the apple trees
after service).
and like closing my eyes
during prayer, i quit my job
begging for spare change,
leaving leaflets to wilt in the rain.
i didn’t go to dinner with ben,
even though he asked
(boy looked like shakespeare
with his beardlet and earring,
and you know how redheads
hit the spot, mmhmm).
i didn’t kiss miss when she
leaned in drunk, with the
spinning backseats,
my head full of
abandoned worlds look bleak
when you stare at them
long enough.
fingers will get tired
trying to untie
devil’s knots
(that bastard sailor).
i will not meet mr. richards
at his back porch to talk
politics and good music,
but that’s okay because he’s
a daddy anyway,
and i should really stay away
from those thirtysomethings.

0 thoughts on “all the subarus in ballard and all the boys i never married

  1. The first stanza came pretty close to exploding my brain. The rest of the poem wandered a bit, but it conveyed a sense of meaninglessnee, which I feel redeems it somehow. It didn’t exactly blow me away, but I liked it. PS: I like the lower case i. I’m a Big fan of e.e. cummings.

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