The Doctor, Part 37

we’re friends
but I’m not

when we met
I was thirty
running from
I needed
didn’t want,

you were
nineteen, learning to
shoot stick,
to drink
in the pool bars
on the lower east side
like Lucy’s,
you were
part of a
sloppy rock and roll song
ready to play
a frustrated gymnast
happy to cartwheel
in the trembling rafters
of the most dangerous places,

on 91,
my mom driving,
you dragged me
into the backseat on the highway
and then
into the
way back,
your freckles
tickling the rearview,
the road
lit up

after we all ate some mushrooms
you made out with my mom
in the front seat
and it was far away
and beautiful

but it put me off
and I ran past the locked gate out onto the
private property
and the beautiful cliffs along the coast
peeling my clothes off,
thinking the sun going down
and the exploding ocean
would take me in
now the mushrooms have changed me,
I’m more like them
than what was going on in the car,

I flashed barefoot naked a good mile,
a foggy string tied from my mind
to the pile of my clothes
back there,
I stopped
to itch my ass against
the top
of a good, sharp rock
jutting up,
I turned my head and smiled it felt so good
and saw a man
dressed for golf standing on his lawn
smoking his pipe
about the length of a golf club away from me
and my wild ass,

as the waves exploded behind my back
I turned away
like some kind of invisible bear I was driving
and in the cockpit I was saying,
I sure hope he doesn’t call the cops
and holds onto this instead as some kind of
wild moment for him to share
over plates of trout
at dinner tonight
and the next summer

and all these summers later

we talk
because I’m sick,
you are an older
sloppy rock and roll song
and I can tell
when we talked today
I don’t think we’d get along,
but, from here,
I can still
your stupid American
anywhere redneck way.