Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday evening, April 29, 2010

Just before I turned 15 my dad was transferred to Portland, Oregon and I was devastated about the move. I had been born and raised in Oakland and had established my group of friends, and the last thing I wanted to do was to move ANYWHERE. Starting at a new high school where everyone had already established their social crowd was so difficult. However, things got a lot better when I gravitated to the drama department and met Nancy Heisel and Marc Bellis, fellow drama enthusiasts and soon to become my very dear friends. This poem is for Marc and Nancy.


Above Portland, above my teen-age imagination
so high that stars teetered in the late May winds
we rattled past the steamy cars, our headlights
low and sneaky, the snior threesome in search of passion.
Idling around each bend, passing cars once, twice
peering into each window on the dangerous side,
craving a flash of bare skin. Once, Marc eased up
too close to a powder-blue Impala, catching
Jimmy Sausser’s famous quarterback ass
mid-air, a pom-pom streamer stuck to one cheek.
We held our bellies, sucking in laughter until Nancy
snorted like a race horse, until Jimmy’s motor sputtered up.
Past the heady rose gardens, gulping icy mouthfuls of air,
We escaped. Circling Washington Park, whizzing down, down
hunched forward, straining to see the mulberry giants
marking our exit. Racing down Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
together we shouted Shakespeare
from Mr. Diesel’s rehearsal class:
"I see a woman may be made a fool,
If she had not a spirit to resist."
Counting stars between phone lines
between clumps of fog
Marc, the native, called it a pea soup night.

--Catherine Fraga

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