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James Cihlar


Cassette tape played endlessly in a rental car     I say I’ll go through fire

And I’ll go through fire      Crazy he calls me      I-80 into the city     Gaslight Village

Whiteway Grocery     Carrying trays at the hospital school’s cafeteria

Med students ordering ruebens sundaes    Sunshine    Your nickname for me

Pagliai’s Pizza down the street      222 Fairchild     Pay phone at Mercy Hospital

Bicycle rides through hidden parks       Am I your boyfriend?       Sony Walkman

Well he tried to be Standard he tried to be Mobil      I-80 out of the city

Sunken gardens    Potato salad with onions and chives your mother made    Ignoring

My strange roommate      Art Deco mosaics of settlers and sod houses   Alexander Julian Colours

Ben Simons      The Atrium    Miller & Paine        Pushing me on a swing in Pioneers Park

But a fool can have his charms    Sleeping on the couch on the floor     Dear woman dear man

The difficult I’ll do right now      The impossible will take a little while      Torn Hawaiian shirt

Could you care    For a cunning cottage we could share

Phone call from my sister’s apartment      I don’t love you come live with me

Where is my beautiful wife where is my beautiful car at your wedding

White cat black cat     White stripe down his nose    The swat he took at Winnie

First name Texas    You and Bruce cross-country to San Antonio   Sitting on a crescent moon in Radio City

Drugged for the road Cameron slept that night wrapped around my head

Wet rattle of purr in my ear the first morning    Riverwalk on New Year’s Eve

This is the last chance Texaco    The flight I never made   The best molé in the Quad Cities

Tea brewed in a microwave    Cookie Monster jar     You like this you take it     My feline husband

Friday night chicken with your parents    Thanksgiving photo at your table     Cuting up the house

The toy in the road after an accident     A poem for you     On the phone I was wrong

Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed     Follow my lead     oh how I need