Winner of the First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut author.


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Vintage Love Story

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ONE…

Afternoon, searching through the aisles with a musty lust for been-theres and done-that’s,

sifting through racks of regret and impulse investment.

Yester — can’t remember that – day, they were dropped off in heaps of defeat,

without value, these fossils of so-last-season.

 

The fabric of lost lover’s lives are no longer a twinkle in their eyes.

They now despise the fashion of last night’s prize.

Once a near-perfect fit, now someone else’s one-dollar mistake.

A worn-out cotton embrace;

A faded smile, tired and broken in by another.

Each begging to flee this city of superficial glances,

Each hanging on for dear life after yet another oversight.

 

‘Are you the one’, they scream above the squeaky-tired carts

as blasé strollers roll by.

 

They sob droplets of tears down the seams in fabric tears,

then, stolen through holes in excuses.

When discarded, they hear only in whispers,

the cold critique of bargain living.

 

They sit, piled up high, yearning for better days and reaching for fluorescent lighting.

Passed up, yet again, after passersby review their lonely price-tagged resumes.

As they hang on for dear life, these re-circulated favorites.

 

They close their eyes as the lights go down

On racks of disappointed and abandoned

Old time, one-timers of Wrong Time and Wrong Place.

 

TWO…

Locked pairs of eyes and

Guided by flickering table tea candles,

I approach that table – that one day ‘our’ table –

At that one day ‘our’ bar,

but this day, only table ONE of twenty identical tables.

 

Guided by flickering table tea candles, I approach

Your five o’clock shadow.

 

Guided and yet guarded;

Behind that smile, that shadow,

I wonder where you were before I walked in –

where it is that you have been,

What other smiles caught your eye,

Which ones were discarded from another time.

And if, perhaps,

you would too trade me in soon at that same table,

that one day empty table

on a similar evening but different day,

some time in the not-too-distant next season.

 

 

 

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