“You’re lucky I ever even looked at you”
is not what Jonah wanted to hear
on his blind date, twenty-second in a series
of serious disappointments, boring glass-apple
stories, robbed of even a moral at the core.
And this latest was off to such a promising start,
from his suggestion they meet for pre-supper coffee,
cherry tarts, and ice cream, to shaking hands — no hugs —
pulling out her chair, and beaming mere-mortal adoration of her
list of endless talents, recited at a hummingbird’s pace
before the first cup was even poured. Twenty minutes in,
she asked about him, his hobbies, his passions — right about then
his lips flipped, slipping up his words.
Nerves already twitching, it probably wasn’t a good idea
to prod them with caffeine before courageously attempting
to calm himself with the chocolate straight-from-the-freezer
cream that numbed his tongue, and set his teeth chattering
as he blathered on and on about his love of cherry tarts, his skill
as a marksman, the pounds he could squat, and his unending passion
Apparently appalled by his stutter-mumbled philosophy,
with plum-sized eyes, she accused him or it: “Disgusting!”
“Immature!” “Pervert!” “I can’t believe–!” He didn’t understand
where she was coming from, but he knew the destination:
I now mispronounce you
boyfriend and girlfriend.
He was content in the knowledge some would never know
anything that stood beyond the bounds of their own experience;
but he failed miserably to understand why he could never comprehend
his own awkward words. The space and time in his mind
only made sense in the realm of a different species.
But as she rose, he tried to recover: “When I saw you, I thought for sure
my luck had changed.” Clearly untrue, based on the cruel and unusual
laughter he inspired: Just a quip about his luck as she whipped back
her braids, grabbed her jacket, turned, and stomped for the door.
Jonah sat still, shivering, smoldering,
wondering how he could reasonably rest forever
in the dark without ever even experiencing
more than just a hint of a spark.