Pictures

We
were a long
time ago

years?
decades?
lifetimes?
carbon dating?

time is filled in
a long forgotten
coloring book
half the pictures
never finished
bold, black-line
outlines dated,
quaint

stumbled across
by accident
you flip through
remembering
all the scenes
beach, park,
ball, puppy

love ?

first few pages
carefully colored
giving way to
partially filled
marker-mosaics
lacking nuance
or hue
unrealistically
bold

and only now do
you understand the
illogic in staying
within the lines

as you toss the
book in the trash

Mark Lucker

Snapshot

The picture was taken
from too far away

the two of us sit on the
apartment steps
the manicured shrubs on
either side dominate
we are framed, she and I,
by wrought-iron railings

Still, it is the only picture
of us that I have

she wears sunglasses and
her acorn-hued hair
cascades over her right
shoulder, trickles down
almost to her lap

I sit on her left
my hand behind, not quite
coming around her back

We hadn’t been together
very long; a few weeks
later any snapshot would
have been much different

more focused, more intimate
more of what we became
before we went our
separate ways

All that is left is a yellowing
bent-corners Instamatic
photo, circa 1979

Were it of anyone else,
finding it in a stack of old
pictures I would squint,
wondering just who these
people were, so far away
from the picture taker

Semantics

I said goodbye
to my share of women.

Some I loved
some of whom loved me.

once in a while
it was mutual.

some of them I left
with regrets,
sometimes I took
them with me because
they seemed
portable
.
I have left things unsaid
desires unmet
plans incomplete;
left with my head held high,
my tail between my legs,
others searching for answers

sometimes, just because,
other times, who knows.

I have said goodbye
to my share of women.

What they said to me
is probably better unspoken

Pocket change

Old loves are a dime-
a-dozen; here’s a quarter
you can keep the change