remembering another September 11


I’m reposting this poem to mark a different anniversary: It was 39 years ago that I met the woman who became my best friend and, later, my wife. It took another 23 years after we met for us to become life partners, and I have thrown more curve balls her way than Sandy Koufax, but I am so grateful that our relationship has endured so much for so long. This poem is about the day we met, and our first and only date, on her eighteenth birthday, 39 years ago.

there you were (for Gina)

Big hair and bare midriff
a creature from another world
lounging on the steps of the student union

Who are you?
Where do you come from?
Questions for another time

For now we sit and smoke and I imagine
how it must feel slow dancing with you
my body held tight by your runner’s frame

On your eighteenth birthday
we get high over the barber shop
where I hope to keep you up
all night celebrating

You are exotic in black underwear
leaving me completely powerless
But I am not the lover you imagined

You wish me goodnight
not saying if you will return
only that you will see me again
on the steps of the student union

©Daniel von der Embse

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