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A Poem in the Before Choice Disturbs collection

Sentimental Shit

OK-- the song comes on the radio, the one that kept
me awake, the one that shows up five times
on a cassette with "Pathos Tape"
written in block letters across the front. It would come on
and I'd turn it up so loud my bones would shiver with the noise.
The song comes on the radio, and

instinct rolls up my stomach. From nowhere
my friend's hand touches my arm
and he says-- in his deadpan-- "Hey, dance with me?"
Then he starts to move across the floor like
he's putting on an uncomfortable pair of pants.
Completely out of time with the melody and beat.
Laughing now, I look down again, and when I think
that my voice won't crack I say, "Yeah, I really like this song."
Which is the kind of thing I only say
with a beer in my hand, so I can take a long pull after.
I didn't have a beer. I put my hand in my pocket.
"Ho-Ho," he said, "I'm filing that one away."
Turning an imaginary key on the side of his head,
locking it in, I guess. "What's that mean?"
"Nothin' Daddy, just you're not all that
sentimental-- to like a song like this."

What I wanted to say then, was you
have to afford sentimentality. Save for it.
Wrap up in it, fold to it like a warm woman in a cold bed,
never getting up. You've got to plan for it. Only let yourself go
when you have a long, long time to be completely fucked.
That's what I wanted to say,
but again I had no beer. Instead I simply said,
"I'm sentimental sometimes."
"Yeah, I'm sentimental."

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