There was this thing that happened
we fell into a hole, tripped over ourselves
the fall sweet, a ball of yarn we tangled
in a tango, candy land ballroom,
hollowed out coffee mugs, a drought,
in this search for a slick-soled-shoe dance
that ended in bed the clothes we took off.
We came up against unexplored expectation
colossal let down we flailed each time.
Back then it was a thing to move
inside out, flip each other on sidewalks,
corner fights on concrete, smoke lingering
off our cigarettes, harsh light
in a dim hotel night after night
the candid rape of inlaid carpeting.
What did you say? What did it
mean? It was yesterday before age settled
into rounded shoulders pushed us down.
To rise one must sink into a sewer
half extended from a manhole cover,
there is no crank here,
only the label we give ourselves: dogs
in heat, not a good plan, to find love
or feel our toes.
Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle. Her third book of poetry, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was published Spring 2017 by Finishing Line Press. Julene worked for 21 years in AIDS services. She is widely published in journals and anthologies. Her poems can be found online at: Anti-Heroin Chic, River & South Review, The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now, and Writing in a Woman's Voice.