“Summer Poem” by Bob Sykora

Photo by Sarah Clark

That summer, eyes lolling over,
eight lanes packed and you licked yogurt
off my forehead. Ignoring

calls from home. In Philly you tried
to quit smoking and I spilled
my drink all over and we kissed or

we fought or whatever. Stale bar
popcorn for dinner and the phone
just wouldn’t stop weeping. I’d sleep

with my hand on her under
the pillow. She’d glow and whimper
and shout for love. Or she didn’t.

The news was the same. Grandpa’s got
the gout again. Dad’s in a splint
James or Jimmy or someone  

from high school wants to say hi.
Selling coffee at Ralph’s, he seems
really ok
. You reached under 

the seat for your secret pack.
Your hand came back dim and soft
and wanting. I didn’t know

a Jimmy in high school. I thought
that place was gone when I left.
We pulled over at an IHOP,

ate breakfast in silence,
left our phones in the parking lot.

Bob Sykora is an M.F.A. candidate at UMass Boston and the poetry editor for Breakwater Review. His recent work can be found in District Lit, Words Dance, and Rust + Moth. He can be found online at bobsykora.tumblr.com.

Photo by Sarah Clark

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