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Published: Wed Oct 15 1980
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Excuse for a Love Poem

It must have been the last drink
that made me feel like this.
A woman looking in a store window
stood the way you do;
a man drove a truck with a child
in his lap and somehow this touched me.

I saw everything with such affection,
it had to be that last drink
that made me think of love as a relief
instead of the relief of nothing to love,
and I flirted with a waitress to celebrate
but she never came back.

The women I thought about
always had someplace to go,
and guessing where you were today
only made me drunker:
the loveliness of being held;
the quiet in which you are reading.

See what's inside AGNI 13

John Skoyles is currently chairman of the Writing Committee at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His collection of poems will be appearing this winter from Carnegie-Mellon Press. (1980)

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