There was that time when my mom offered
to take us to the drive-in with her friend
and we got to sit in the back seat together.
Not ideal, of course. I mean, chaperones
on a drive-in date? But it was all we had.
So we went, and I remember kissing you, even
with the grown-ups watching. And I can see,
even now when I close my eyes, your skinny
legs in skinny jeans, splayed out, and just
how serious you were about the whole affair.
In another year I’d get a boyfriend who lived
right next door to that very same drive-in
and I’d spend many an evening not watching
movies there. But that night, you and I
were on the cusp of something, on the line
between kids from camp who wrote letters
and young adults learning what pining meant.
That was it for us, as far as it went. Awkward
silence and downward glances were our style
next and every time we met hence, for years.
But that was the moment when we could see it
and touch it for the first time; what we’d
seek forever after. To see ourselves in
our lover’s eyes, to feel love in our bellies.
This is the last poem in my book SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying. I recently came across the above photo of a postcard from the real Lakeside Drive-In, which of course no longer exists. I was surprised by the intensity of my reaction to the photo and thought I’d share this poem again with the photo to accompany it. The poem is dedicated to Don Martin, who left us almost two years ago, far too soon.