a poem a day for a year #113

in college my friend Jenn and I had a particular indie film moment together
we wrote down all the places in the world that we wanted to live
on tiny torn pieces of a cigarette packet and placed them in
the small coffee cup in Dee's Diner in Nelsonville, Ohio
we asked the hillbilly waitress to pick one
she pushed a pen through her hair
and put her hand on her skinny hip
and looked like Joan Jett tough
but something softened
like she didn't care to be mean anymore
at us spoiled college kids
and she reached out her hand
we had put places like New York City and Chicago
and New Orleans in the cup
exotic places too
but she drew Portland, Oregon
handed it to us and then went back to the pie case
the silver gem in the dumpy diner
the pie case that revolved and moved
with a motor sound
that was the back drop to my writing life
the soundtrack 
where I hid and cut my teeth
on the story of a girl

we sat for hours in astonishment
we were moving to Portland
this was happening
only we never did
I went to Europe chasing some angst
and she went to California
but for that one night we were
going to Portland
and life seemed so much easier
for those hours
and almost always has since
when I suspend disbelief
when I just pretend
when I write things down