Yes, we are sailing in the summer breeze, frosty brews in hand, smiling up at the sun. We haven’t just been kicking our feet up, though, there is work being done after hours that is causing all the smiling. We are happy as New Orleans clams (wait, there are clams in NOLA, right?) to announce that we will soon be releasing a new book of poetry!
This is exciting news in itself, but when you see this collection of poems by the amazing Amber Decker of West Virgina, titled, The Girl Who Left You, everyone will be raising their mugs to her talent and ability to knock us on our asses with one phrase. In true After Hours fashion, Amber’s poems are so visceral and rich, we can almost drink them. And if they were whiskey, we’d drink the whole bottle, loving the way it burned all the way down.
Here is what we’re talking about:
by Amber Decker
You board a plane to Las Vegas
bound for a supporting role in a wedding
you do not believe has anything to do with love.
Earlier, we’d made love on an old mattress
on the floor of your best friend’s apartment,
the hard shell of your suitcase banging
into my knee, your mouth wet
with the harsh scrape of my name.
There was little romance in it,
only the frenzied unleashing
of the not-knowing,
the possibility of unhappy endings, cutthroat desire.
I do not love you.
Or, rather, I love you
as I would love a deck of cards
while waiting for a train or a bus.
Our goodbyes fly across a crowded room
like small white birds.
At the ticket counter,
you kiss me with lips smooth as Carey Grant.
In the car, the radio plays songs to name
every sort of love
that does not bloom
in my heart for you,
and the long white lines of the road,
like dark-haired college boys
with bodies pale as ghosts,
take me home to bed.
So, friends, pour yourselves a coldie, grab your nearest sweetheart, and kick your feet up (for us). The Girl Who Left You will arrive shortly, and you’ll want to receive her properly.
Be back soon…
Julie & and the SFS Crew