David Cassidy Poems
by Jennie VerSteeg
One of Those Things
I can hear your heart beat though you didn't even say a word.
-The Partridge Family
Just you and I, Keith, and you will love me. You will stare at doors long after I shut them behind me, want the imagined path I leave in the air. Ruffles from a bird's wing. And I will pluck my eyebrows. The barest slices, thin as children's voices. All our clothes will have too many zippers.
I don't want one of those all lit up from behind, hair falling in a curtain, kisses soft as ammonia kind of things. I want one of those, oh, you know, those teeth-marked sweat-stained sheets all torn to streamers fevers fingernails kisses all open oh Keith, oh Keith things.
Birds caught in a chimney.
All of you will love me. Danny and Laurie and even Tracy. Even little Tracy and her tambourine, and the music of bells on the curve of a slipper. Come on, Keith, everyone knows what the back of the bus is for. When I shut my eyes, that tambourine sounds like gypsies in the driveway.
Every night you will come home to me. Sloe gin drunk in secret.
A Ping-Pong table. Maybe then it will be
teeth-marked sweat-stained sheets all torn to streamers
kisses all open
oh Keith. . .
(I can hear your heart beat
though you didn't even say a word.)
I remember when it was enough to go to your high school parties. We'd sit on some sectional sofa and you'd touch me through my clothes. And the notes you wrote me, remember, Keith, on your mother's good stationery, linen paper shot through with splinters. "Meet me by the carport." And I would.
But I broke your goddamn lava lamp. On purpose.
Last night I left a bloodstain the size of a shot glass on your sheets. Now you tie my wrists together with the rayon scarf that says "Groovy!" and "Love" in and around the fabric of flowers. Everything drowns in punctuation. "Groovy!" Look at me. I'm ticking.
You keep sending me daylilies, and marzipan. You keep playing "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore," and glancing aside at my knees, beside you on the sofa. You make me wait when I want to hurry. You leave smears of marzipan all over your guitar.
Here I am, by the carport in culottes. I'm going to leave you like a Communion wafer. You'll pink and redden, and your ribs will stand out like bamboo under your skin. You'll scud up under my fingernails in ribbons. There isn't a hair on you. You're my egg to walk on.
I thought you weren't showing up tonight. So where can we go? Come here. Talk to me. Shut up. Slow down. Hurry, Keith. Hurry.
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