To the Woman I Left at the World’s Fair, 1974.

This poem won Third place in 2-Day Poem Contest 2012

There you were, an Eastman Kodak girl in a yellow dress,

Orange-lipped and garrulous, offering to take my picture.


What was the line I used to scoop you up?

I could spend my whole life measuring

The sweet geometry of your freckles.


I recall your voice, suddenly salient

Over Bing Crosby crackling on loudspeakers,

As you promised me your tomorrow.


In the entrance to the Soviet Pavilion

I joked that Lenin was staring down your blouse,

And you blushed borsht-red.


You agreed to harbour me in your trailer,

Said my exhalations on your eyelashes gave you shivers,

That you couldn’t tell a tickle from a pinch.


In your tiny kitchen, you dropped rhubarb into a pan,

Sugared it and spoon-fed me while we watched,

Through clouded windows, the splash of strangers

Coalesce into a throbbing crowd.


From May to September, I loved you.

Loved how it took us hours on hours

To wend our way down glassphalt walkways.


Forgive me for believing I was smarter than you,

For letting your voice abrade and blend

Into the roller coaster screams.


I left you sitting cross-legged on your mattress

Tracing patterns into the freckles on your forearm:

A triangle, a triangle, a triangle, a star.