Sandy—the first Sandy—who Jimmy Beeler also liked, who told me in gestures I drove her crazy. Then
Kim, for a very short time then
Julie off and on and
Pam, for about two years. I once loaned her fifty cents which she made me happy by taking a long time to repay.
Nancy, of course, then
Janet. I danced with Janet. Then,
Paula, next, I guess, but she was gay, then
Madeleine. Almost Madeleine.
Kathy, who died.
Joan, who quit McDonald’s the day her sister said to me, “Why don’t you ask my sister out?”
I don’t know why, exactly.
Abby, who laughed a lot when we ordered steak and who was served a margarita though she was only seventeen. Then the second
Sandy, for years and years and years, right through
Peggy—for a minute or two—and
Michelle—who was also gay—until I met
Cathy, whom I married.
And there it ends—though nothing ends. Not really. Not in time. Ghosts and shadows run through time, beads upon beads on a string—
This is my poem for you, for you who knew and you who’ll never know how much I told myself I could not live without you. I wear you out of time, light or heavy, on this chain around my neck.