Two False Starts
You kissed Brooke Shields in a hot tub near Sausalito. It wasn’t on a houseboat, but at a rehab joint. In the ‘80s she was small as a squab, which is a baby pigeon. You teased her hair and asked her to dine at Scoma’s: surf & turf & fowl on twelve tiny tables drooping over the pier, bridge views included, best steamed clams in the city! She scrunched those brows at you. Sure. Hungry birds convened round your patio table. She ordered Crab Louie at which you scoffed and mentioned your mother’s penchant for the dish. You never liked your mother. Pigeons and gulls skimming the bay’s cusp made it a shipwreck island. Just the two of you marooned, save for a rum-soaked gray beard waiter every 20 minutes. He brought your squab and Manila shells. She said it wasn’t her body in Blue Lagoon.
You were married near Seattle. Not to Brooke Shields, but to some girl everyone tried to forget. Still the ‘80s and you were leasing a gray-blue shack on Bainbridge Island, which isn’t a real island because it’s not tropical. You commuted to the city to hold your palms by the heat of her sunshine hair. She larked about the copy machine, blush-mugged and balming. You asked her to visit: morning fog, cups of cloudy coffee, and a ferry flung across the Sound! Sure. Dim mist circled the island, and she grew like a warm bulb inside your bed sheets. Your mother never liked her. But that didn’t matter, since it was just the two of you hoarding all the hot coals. Oh, and that rain-faced stranger on the opposite pillow one evening. He helped pour your vodka-rocks and fled. She said it wasn’t her body in the bed.