To Breathe




Hot summer days when we rode our bikes, 
pretending to be Hell�s Angels
And all I wanted was to be an angel for you �
Maybe one of Charlie�s Angels,
Who you ran inside to see religiously.

The nights I would run in with you,
To a dark room filled with pre-teen toys, 
Models, and Starsky and Hutch
On the wall watching, knowing � How could I know?
Lips that didn�t know a kiss from a cootie,
But they ached to touch yours.

We put aluminum foil on the antenna
So we could watch Eric Estrada
Ride his cool bike and we�d dream
Of grown-up days when we could ride
Free, free of our bicycles.

And John Travolta was so hot
And why wouldn�t you spin me
Around your room
Like we had the Fever?

Instead, I learned to like
The clumps of dirt you threw
When my folks dug the well,
My dodging my own dance,
Secretly dancing with you.

I didn�t want to sell all that lemonade to you,
I wanted to give it away, give you everything -
The table, the cups, the dimes,
If you would show me,
If only you would let me be
More than your buddy.

And I worshipped you enough to play my nose,
Put a finger to the side and blow weird noises
Like invisible snot,
Just like you showed me to over the fence.

I wanted you to come see me at the hospital
When I got my tonsils out.
But your sister came instead,
And I wanted my tonsils back
Because you never came.

And now that John Travolta is so hot again,
Are you going to sit there
And pretend that you don�t have
The Fever?

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Copyright �1999 by Karen Cline. All rights reserved.
Karen�s biography page