021.3: John Gallaher:: Cake for the Groom:: Part III 021

"There are dimensions to the curtain/that we hadn’t begun to guess at yet. Relaxed, almost/smiling. And so that’s it for Act I, at any rate,/and all we can think to do is open a second act. With the swingers hopping,/and the hipsters skipping." John Gallaher

Cake for the Groom:: Part III

It’s Everywhere You Want to Be!

So these early days weren’t easy. In many of them
we never get to see Chicago. And then our roots
and early development, at the vanishing point
with big ideas under stained glass. Kids playing on city streets by fire hydrants
and men working on skyscrapers
with their lunch boxes along the girder
hesitate and look left, thinking. The cars looked so good
and sturdy. We must be very malleable,
the Lindy Hoppers decided, high-stepping from their wrecks.
We learned some things right away,
like how it’s starting to be mid-summer in Hopperville. And
we’ve gotten back to the post war optimism already,
but it’s little use figuring which direction we’re headed,
except to say that it has something to do with us not being around
anymore. And it’s impossible to know the extent of it,
when no one defines “it.”
There was Jenny Hoyden holding my hand. “I’ll be seeing you,
Miss Indigo,” I would’ve loved to’ve said. But what’s the use,
as it’s only once. Only once, my heart fair leapt in my throat,
and then come stomach problems.

It appears, from the looks on our faces,
the disaster’s not this week. Or at least not for us,
we get to be happy little snails passing by
and waving, even if the ground’s a fairly complex matter.
I’ve decided to study it awhile, there at the stage door.
There are dimensions to the curtain
that we hadn’t begun to guess at yet. Relaxed, almost
smiling. And so that’s it for Act I, at any rate,
and all we can think to do is open a second act. With the swingers hopping,
and the hipsters skipping.
A wall of playbills already yellowing a bit.
We’d call it “Liquored Up, Part II: Their Storied Optimism,”
if we had the energy, which clearly we do, but we still don’t
for some reason. Later,
watching the tracks, she’ll suspect that her husband
doesn’t like her. How many times is hard to tell, though,
as they’ll see each other on the platform without speaking.

We’re hopeful, but not sure of things,
stepping from our underwear. There are touching scenes of reconciliation
often. They rang us up just the other day to say they’re somewhere else,
trying something new. “So, is your refrigerator running?” they ask.
We sense there’s more to it, is all.
And all our longing mute and unnamed
the rest of the long afternoon.