You were bent over
that old electric bass
picking at dirty cords
under the swirling steam
of coffee and a plateful gorditas de chicarrón,
the smoke from a cigarette you lit
and left hanging at the table’s edge
cleared my eyes for just a moment
before I turned my back
and walked away.
The rhythm you stole
from my stride
through a hole
in my back pocket.
The prompt: “write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows. And if you’re not in the mood for love? Well, the flip-side of the love poem – the break-up poem – is another staple of the poet’s repertoire. If that’s more your speed at present, try writing one of those, but again, avoid thunder, rain, and lines beginning with a plaintive “why”? Try to write a poem that expresses the feeling of love or lovelorn-ness without the traditional trappings you associate with the subject matter.”