Leah Mueller

Summer Pickup

We met on the only 
hot night in Seattle–July 1993, 
the year summer never came. 

Both of us at the Blue Moon, 
drinking pints and checking out 
the other drunks. 

A married acquaintance
brought you to my table, 
playing matchmaker
after you hit on her first. 

You gave me the once-over,
spilled your beer several times, 
and followed me to my car
to smoke a couple of bowls.

“Prepare for the ride of your life,”
I said, returning the pipe to
my ashtray. “I have a lover,”

you replied, “but she’s
more of a friend, really.” 

Back at your place,
you played Annie Lennox
and Bryan Ferry on a boom box
and gave me the ride of my life:

one that would rage
on and off, for a year. 

Sometimes, I miss the
deranged hubris of my youth: 
that unflinching belief
in my invincibility. 

On the other hand, it’s nice
to sit home with a cold beer 
and a bag of good cannabis.

No one can accuse me of
never doing anything rash.
I’ll always have memories, 
and an endless series 
of upcoming lifetimes
to fuck up even more. 

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