by Bill Melton

about the author: Bill Melton was a member of the writer's group that met during the first many years of the review and was always part of our group readings, etc., was also an editor for a few issues. When deciding what to put in a best of, it's natural to wonder if things like helping out and being part of a sort of inner cadre should count more for someone's inclussion. This is a poem I'd have chosen either way. Compare the humor here to Ricky Rankin's "Just My Type" - very different! -gcb


So It Goes

So I go, like, What did you say?

And I go, Well, yeah, like, I'm your best friend. And so he goes, I don't have to tell you, you know, like I was deep in love with the guy. Like, I felt I'd known him as a kid. Like, I had these memories of his toys, the way he described his sister, and like that? I cared, man, like I really cared. I mean a lot. Every finger was interesting to me. Every pore. Every hair on the bathroom sink. I noticed. If he spoke my name in need, you know, my heart became, like, a nursing mother. I'd lie beside him for hours in the dark, while he slept, and just, you know, time my breathing to his. Sometimes in reverse, so like, I'd breathe in his breath. I was content to just, like, feel the flesh of one leg against his. Like secrets passed between our skin. I was unearthing, like, some new gem every day. But then he started, like, pulling away. Distance, you know? Distance. He'd say, It always fades after a while, you know? It always fades. And at the end, when I'd reach out to touch the fucker, he'd lie real still, cringing, like a caged lizard. And then he'd tell me, god, man, you sure seem awful needy lately. Like, yeah, I know, you know? Like, I seem to have misplaced the man I love somewhere.
Needy, he goes.
So I go, Shit, man, you know? Shit.
. . . And so he goes, So I go.
And so I go, You go what?
. . . And so he goes, No. I just go.