Personal Investments

by a contributor

a brief encounter by JJ Lynne

Two minutes to departure.
I bet you won’t show,
and the pug-nosed conductor says
I ought to board alone
if I want to break into
Boston before six – riding
in a gun’s predestined slug,
loaded with bodies lurching
toward home, lunging
for each discoteca, porno bistro,
hardcore show burning
at the fringe of the bullet hole.

In this explosion, we
could be the nucleus –
catalyst, if you prefer speed
to stability. I, for one –
better for all – subscribe
to an allegiance of agility,
admiring the dotted line
that traces Scorpio on this
ballerina’s back, or the mark
on your hand where a once frozen
pizza – hissing, molten –
burned a map of Florida’s coast.
I’ve been burned, too,
you just haven’t seen the scars yet,
etched onto blood cells
and pressed into the reverse side
of tacky paper skin.
Even after scraping at tar-
black toast, the taste is the same,
that of metal coils and their aftermath.

It’s a minute past.
You’re damn lucky
the engineer’s bladder –
fat jellyfish sac –
bulged with a beg for delay.
First dates are too much
like physical exams.
The anticipations and wait,
applied pressure and probing –
a mental disrobing with a
dressed-up shakedown
of experience, then and now.
Like any doctor, you treat
clients as you treat dates
and times – with acknowledgment,
without priority – the difference
is that years into the game
you will be worth the late start
and uninsured co-pay –
an investment well placed
on a map of City Hall Plaza;
in a game of show to tell.

JJ Lynne is a recent graduate of Merrimack College where she earned her BA in English. Her poems have won first and second prizes in the annual Rev. John R. Aherne Poetry Contest and her poetry and photography have recently appeared in The ScramblerCommon Ground Review, and [PANK] under her birth name.