MP3 Recording

This poem was born out of a a duet slam performance conceived by Christina Nation and Trenton Payne.


Don't Look Back
May '03
The damn slammers opened the door.

We listen as two poets dream of going back...
back and forth, 
she swang back and forth
The boy gave her a push,
She smiled,
and the first drops of blood 
leak from my heart.

Imprisoned dreams flow out,
'til I no longer feel her presence, and we enter a past...
not yet realized.

Her crimson gown offset the waiter's ivory tux as he approached their table.
"Would you like another champagne cocktail darling?
One champagne cocktail for the lady. 
And I'll have a scotch.
Neat."
A real lady killer, and he could dance.

Wandering the festival grounds, 
I'm in a trance.
Warm bare feet,
mingling with the grass.
I come upon a soft voice
strumming her guitar....

"That was Christina Nation and Trenton Payne. Judges, can I see your score?"

As the poets collect their scores
we settle ours.
"The taxes are due soon. We'll need an accountant to divide our deductions. I got some of your bills. Please tell them your new address. And when will you get your greasy race car junk out of my garage?"

Our glasses, half empty, need some more wine,
On the way to Jonathan to buy her another bottle,
the past past 
leaks in.

On our honeymoon flight, I silently bought her first pearls 
while she was sleeping,
dreaming of Paris.
We'll always have Paris.

Our 10th anniversary, I bought us dancing lessons. 
The ballerina and a lead with lead feet.
While making a photo album for her birthday, 
I found a picture of her from before we met... 
long hair...
dangling over her guitar.

I'd seen that guitar, 
but never heard it.

We gave the judge sound reasons 
to finalize our divorce,
but on New Years Eve?
May Old Acquaintance be forgot?

We listen as two poets dream of going back...
and dream of our rewrite,
striking out the pain.

But would I?
Given the choice to change time,
Would I erase the love with the pain?

A decision, pained.

But logic says that fate once changed would erase that pain.

Damn the logic.

The choice would remain painful
as if the pain transcended cause and effect.

Time isn't linear.

Neither is pain.

Or love. 
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