Published: July 11, 2011 [49 copies]
[ S O L D O U T ]
Robin Reagler is a poet, and her work has appeared in dozens of journals and books. Dear Red Airplane is her first chapbook publication. She’s the Executive Director of Writers in the Schools (WITS) and also leads the international WITS Alliance. She earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her partner, Marcia, and their daughters, Carrie and Pearl. They travel daily, and although most of their journeys are beautiful they are also imaginary.
Night must have dangled something silvery
in our faces, something seductive, an older person’s
version of the double-dare.
We were returning
to my hometown for a visit–we,
my lover and I.
We drove downtown, parked the car
in front of my parents’ store, and eyed the windows to the left and right.
Then we crossed the street
to the ancient barber shop called Glenn’s.
We walked down the side alley to the back alley
and with a Swiss army knife, she jimmied open
the barber’s door. Gliding through
the murky dark
that smelled of dust and hair tonic,
we allowed ourselves one light. It illuminated the black
plastic combs in pale blue water.
In the almost-opaque aquarium in one corner of the room,
lethargic guppies lurked
among chunks of the unnameable.
In this flowerless place, I shampooed her hair,
scrubbing to the cadence of the bare light bulb
that buzzed above.
It seemed like a long time
to me. I felt that old fairy-tale fear.
But we were adults, capable of sin and charity,
rendering a quieter image
into the picture book of love.