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Midnight, West Reading Diner

—for Justin

You were smoking for me,
one Camel Light after the other, ground
into a pile of ash in a black plastic dish. They
weren’t your lungs to safeguard, but you

were adamant, refusing to share
despite my appeals. Setting your Olympus
Digital on the table, you watched me
on LCD, and I talked to the girl in the mirrored

wall, my fingers following the outlines
of her clavicles, feeling bone through chilled
flesh to soothe petulant nerves, while she lifted
a steaming mug to my lips. You let me

have the seat aimed at that wall, knowing
I needed to consider my reflection, like you
knew I’d drink only tea while you ate
grilled cheese and fries, and knew I loved it

when you asked, So, are you going
to let me take your picture, or what?
Second of 5 final drafts submitted in my first portfolio for Poetry Workshop.
orion-mk3 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
Compared to the piece I just read, I'm seeing a definite style emerging here. Strong, speechlike rhythm in unrhymed verse, with italicized interjections in the form of dialogue or internal monologue, depicting real-life situations fraught with tension. It's effective at conveying emotion and provokes a strong visceral response, though perhaps at the expense of clarity.

For example, while I enjoyed the cadence of the piece and the images it suggested, I was never really sure what was going on. Then again, perhaps that was the point.
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
Yeah, I've been trying to develop my own personal... I don't know. Style, voice, etc. This piece is a bit more... unclear, I guess, because it refers directly to a personal connection between the speaker and the guy she is with, and how they are such good friends that he just knows and understands her quirks/weak points.
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Submitted on
February 25, 2007
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