Seeing a Picture of 2 Guys I Knew 40 Years Ago by Jeanne DeLarm-Neri

I knew them like fluid,
like we were all connected,
linked by our roaming molecules,
like we shared the same skin cells,
bumped arm to arm in sparks.
Like cigarettes lit, glowed, burned,
light one with the suck of the other.
You could smoke in the diner then,
and at night we sat in a bar
which burned down last year.
Drinks included crème de menthe.
Its sweet child body slipped down cool
and came up hot and undigested,
baby puke, no bits of stomach lining,
no pieces of the pulmonary system.
Though as I inspect the picture of these two,
slender, hair to the shoulders,
dressed in chinos and moccasins,
one smiling under a mustache
and the other worried, keys in hand,
I believe that a cardiologist
may detect a nick or two
missing from my aorta—
pieces of me left behind
on an Ohio lawn, should a machine
be invented that could measure
the weight of a moment lost.

Though Jeanne DeLarm-Neri has written poetry and stories for her entire life, she also earns a living in other fields, particularly as a bookkeeper at a private school, and as a vendor of antiques. Her poems and short fiction have been published in two anthologies (In Gilded Frame 2013 and Poems Of The Super-Moon, 2015), and several literary journals, one of which, Slipstream, nominated a poem for the Pushcart Prize. In 2014 and 2015 she was a contributor at the  Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She’s currently working on a book of poems and a novel.

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