Christian Anton Gerard and Her Yet Without a Past

Christian Anton Gerard


She puts on
Cyndi Lauper and The Goonies
to be the smokes they’d smoke
                                                     if the store wasn’t two blocks
too far to walk in the dark.  Something about
the way Cyndi makes boys wanna have fun when she says

wanna have
fun reminds Christian Anton Gerard
Europeans love Levi’s or maybe
                                                       it’s her jeans’ tag next to his head,
his hope nothing changes when their pockets wear
through, weathered years, whatever he

his Juliet
let coming days bring.  In a cafe
yesterday, they overheard an older couple
                                                                         looking back
on their lives.  The gentleman said something
about life’s book.  I hate that metaphor, Christian said,
my story’s forgetting, that way I’m never a book.
Tell me,

his girl
said, how we met. Oh, Christian said, you knew
what you were doing when you put on
                                                                  that paper skirt.
I watched you read. Your red poems. And you
read my mind when you said I looked like I needed
words in me.  We talked for hours

we happened
to be seeing other people
who weren’t in the room and our talking happened
                                                                                        to make us
red with life.  Quick as that.
Just us yet without a past.  And here we sit.

she said,
a story with an arc, a book overflowing
anything the mind can imagine.  It’s as if
                                                                       Christian’s hopped a plane,
so he could jump above her house, parachute into her
room.  Here is his tongue to her ears.  Here is his breath on

hair.  Her nails,
ten scalpels singing through his skin,
saying prayers inside a night making each from each.