We are not all in Hollywood by Nancy Levinson

I am not a silent poet


On the hotel dance floor

at a high school reunion

just a few measures into

a nostalgic Patti Page song

a tongue was thrust into my ear

like a striking snake. The wet flick

startled my brain (encased ever so near)

and bolted me backwards

across the room to the bar or the terrace

or the ladies’ room      the aftermath

escaping my memory as I’d escaped

the man named John.  I’d met him

only moments earlier introduced

by his wife Peggy

a close high school friend

twenty-five years past.


In the sunny kitchen of our home

avocado plants lining the sill above the sink

the children’s school drawings covering

the refrigerator door     my brother-in-law Leo

greeted me hello dinner smells so good

with a hug akin to a simian’s long arms

clinging for life     then Sam added

an extended deep sweeping back rub

until I could extricate myself

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