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on my high-rise roof
I notice you across the street on
your balcony seemingly aloof
listening to vintage Carly Simon
"... you say we can keep our love alive"
You stare my way and energetically waive
"Babe all I know is what I see"
I hesitate, smile and then return the gesture
"The couples cling and claw"
As if on cue you stand and press against the railing
"and drown in love's debris"
Still smiling as my heart beats faster
"... we'll soar like two birds through the clouds"
"What's your name?" you playfully cry out
"But soon you'll cage me on your shelf"
"Who wants to know?" is my surprising reply
"I'll never learn to be just me first by myself"
Sudden flashbacks hijack my thinking
"... it's time we moved in together
and raised a family of our own, you and me"
Why is this happening? Why am I sinking?
"... that's the way I've always heard it should be
you want to marry me, we'll marry"
I hear your beseeching, unintelligible shouts as I retreat
Painful memories open like an oubliette under my feet—
Lost and languishing in isolation's labyrinth
Same Old Song Poetry Contest
Sponsor: Beth Evans
Italicized lyrics from the song "That's the Way I've Always heard It Should Be" (1971) written by Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman.
Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2020
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