Sunday, March 6, 2011

Getting It Right

Getting It Right

What could it hurt to rewrite my adolescence--
for instance, say this time I kiss Anna after the Junior Prom.

as our limo drives through a night so dark I see only her lips.
The Globe can offer a correction: due to an editorial error

my football-crazed dog, Rambo, never collided with the fender
of that cruising Toyota. At fifteen, family eating pasta, let's say my father

no longer informs us he has throat cancer, there's no surgery
that steals his voice. This time Anna can arrive at my sixteenth birthday party

in a swimsuit. It wouldn't change the course of known events
for me to say we retired to the bedroom where I touched parts

of Anna's body which called to me like distant church bells.
And this time no one moves out: my brother still lives

in the basement, spinning a record twenty years long, an Eagles poster
"Live at the Gardens" nailed above his bed. My sister spends eternity

in the bathroom perfecting the art of mascara,
morning after morning her blond lashes bring a May sunrise

into our kitchen. Let Rambo score a touchdown running
a ten-yard fade. Let my father's voice call me to dinner.

The Herald can publish a new story: my parents purchase
that '89 mini-van, its tank big enough to hold 30 years of gasoline--

hands on the wheel, everyone buckled, my father leads us in song,
"The Long Road Home," and Anna too sits in the back,

her voice joining ours as she reaches for me,
her red bikini brighter than any brake light
~ Steven Coughlin

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