atlantic city

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

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MISSING

night sky free image

Things that disappear

Like being six and

Walking on the Atlantic City

Boardwalk

(Pre-casinos)

In midnight moon

And clouds

Surf and sand

With Gran and some of her

Myriad cousins, sisters, friends

Walking ahead of them

What could they possibly have

To talk about

So intensely

In foreign languages

I never learned

And finding a dark store front

With huge looming animals

(Pre-animatronic)

Dressed in costumes:

Upright fox in a top hat

And cutaway

Upright bull

Horns hatless

Wearing a matador’s red cape

Upright rabbit

Sinister, unlike the Easter bunny

Unlike the fussiness of the

March Hare

Glaring through the glass window

Dressed in black tie and tux

On and on

I could swear they have moved

An eye winks, a drop of drool appears

On the snarling wolf face

Animals towering over me

Yet I am safe in front of the glass

Scared but fascinated

Longing to enter their world

In my own costume

In a flowing gown of

My secret favorite color: red

Suddenly

Unwelcome tug on my long, curly,

Dark hair

As Gran’s friend finds me

Frantically looking at the door

No name on the store

I can read but where are we?

I want to come back in the daylight

But I never do

Never find that cluttered window

Of unfriendly, forest animals

Though I search for years

And in the 80s

Birthday party for my

Sons at Chuck E. Cheese

I get a tingle

When the animatronic

Animal band

Plays on stage

But no, they are too friendly

Not baleful at all

Like my band

From long ago

A time that

Disappeared

Swallowing up

A six-year old

With chills stomping

Up and down her spine

And a glass cage of

Animals

Dressed in their best

As they lure the luckless

Into their darkened window

With a vision

Never to be forgotten

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)