Author’s note: Let’s not pretend all long-term relationships are a place lust dies, where neither party finds another person attractive ever again. Fantasy allows for a moment of escape in what is otherwise a committed coupling, and this poem explores how romantic fantasies are born and the ways in which they exert influence in real life.
Look, baby, it’s not that I don’t love you, but
you are too close to star in my fantasy.
When my computer flicks on, I swallow more coffee,
and the beach scene desktop wallpaper forces the memory
of another man down on top of me like an unexpected wave.
I feel a swell of regret for having turned
away from his waiting lips.
I resisted, and he worked so hard, baby,
you have no idea.
His stare made my hips pay attention
to the way they carried my body from one destination
to another, and every wild and bad idea I’d ever had fit
into the deep crease of his smile. Everything
that you are not: Blood of Fish inked across his rigid calves,
skull tattooed inside his bottom lip, well aware
of how little time he has left, just enough danger.
His fast hands needed no guidance from me.
Now, years later, I wake up from a daytime reverie
of his strange mouth on my neck,
face pressed against my sea-dampened hair,
and wonder how I ever stood on the edge without falling.
You see, sweetheart, his eyes were the kind of blue
reserved for screensavers and background images,
mountains and shorelines, places people dream
of going when they need a change of scenery
but don’t have the heart to leave home.
Frannie McMillan is a National Board Certified secondary librarian, mother of three, and book reviewer from Richmond, Virginia. Her poetry has appeared in The Coachella Review, K’in Literary Journal, isacoustic, The Indianapolis Review, and others. Follow her on Twitter @franniemaq, but please don’t ever call her Fran.
Delmarva Review publishes compelling new prose and poetry selected from thousands of submissions annually. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it receives partial financial support from individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The review is available worldwide from Amazon.com and other major online booksellers and specialty regional bookstores. For more information, see the website: www.DelmarvaReview.org
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