The Night I Proposed

By Peter Stokes
Featured Image: The Kiss IV by Edvard Munch

This is a whole new world to us, and
We drove up to some rooftop parking garage
To look out on the Western night
There up above the Terminal Bar & Grill
And later moving on down darkened East Colfax
Past all the whores with their narrow old asses
And bars wide open with their doors bent back
I thought I saw Bo Diddley
At the wheel of a cream-colored Cadillac
Like out of some wet dream from my Visions of Kerouac
And I knew that at last we had arrived.

But then four days later Greg got up and left
In a tangle of tensions and he and I arguing
And his father’s throat already cut open
Two thousand miles away to take out the cancer
From sixty years of bad habits and a few of hard living
And Justin and I never got along, him sitting
On that couch in that garden apartment, me staring
Out the window at the kids on their bikes, thinking
Maybe all of Colorado is a parking lot or a mountain,
And he’d be drinking cheap bottled near-beer
Or something out of a can with only the television screen
Lighting the room and the sound of the stereo disallowing conversation
And the face on the set so out of sync with the song until
Some other day Carl and I went to some park
And I thought for a moment, this friendship
Is eternal, but two cold mornings later I was
Walking out wandering Denver’s Capitol Hill
At 6:00 a.m. in search of some Aspirin and got
Stopped by some cop along the skirt of that park
And he asked me if maybe I needed a ride and
That’s when I came home to you.

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