Lonely at the laundry mat,
the kids gun-play rat-a-tat
and I sat in soap dissolving,
watching your lost socks revolving.
So goes the pop song I started writing
for you, and the things you left charged
and clinging to flesh went cold
and now grows hot again. Yes, this kind
of thing must be whispered now, with one-
day-a-year encounters, bedrooms in St. Louis
shotgun houses—one night, we spent
all winter hunting warm. But what to say now
into tin cans and shoestrings stretched up
through the Northeast woods that wasn’t moaned
or owned, our decade-old, duped doppelgangers,
once young in drunken dorm rooms, strung out
on ramen noodles, five-dollar words, and Baudelaire.
Now neither of us far from thirty, I’m too old to stand
outside your window in Vermont, battery-filled
boombox raised over my head.
And baby, baby, it’s too cold to play
six strings and sing your lost socks again.
Jason Braun currently teaches English and is the Associate Editor of Sou’wester at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He hosts “Literature for the Halibut”, a weekly hour-long literary program on KDHX 88.1. He has published fiction, poetry, reported or been featured in Riverfont Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ESPN.com, Drumvoices Revue, Sou’wester, Evergreen Review, Nashville City Paper, Jane Freidman’s blog, and many more.