Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Rejection Love Song

On a whim, we drove to Vegas and lost
everything but the three-fifty stashed
in the glovebox for the breakfast buffet.
The red pleather booths and geometric
orange and brown pockmarked paint reminded me
of the Sambo’s my dad used to love.
I told you, and you snorted. “That place!
They shut it down.” Your barrel chest,
soft around the edges as it has always
been, shook the warped linoleum table.
We scooped large spoonfuls of powdered eggs
onto plastic plates hot from the dishwasher,
left craters in the chafing dish landscape.
Still drunk, I buried my nose in your sandbag
of a shoulder, closed my eyes, breathed you in.
Smoke and the sweat of Old Vegas casinos,
beer and salt and sunlight. You wrapped me up,
pulled me into your chest, ate with your left hand.
I felt small next to you, and your heart beat
like spinning reels waiting on triple
sevens. You said, “We could stay here, you know.”
Your fork rested in your broad fingers.
We drove back with the windows rolled down,
my feet resting on your Fastback’s slick dash.
The sun sucked our sweat before it could surface,
and my skin felt tight, cured, right next to you
as you drove eighty-five past the salt flats.
Waves of white, featureless, an empty plate
rimmed by scrub-littered hills. How long would you wait
under that heat lamp desert sky? How long
would it take for me to dry you out,
lay you out on my table, turn your heart
into a metal coin, bitter to the tongue?
I would not squander you, not for any clanging
thrill, not for any jackpot imagined.
Gabrielle Freeman
Gabrielle Freeman has had poetry appear in journals such as Chagrin River Review, The Emerson Review, and Shenandoah. She earned her MFA in poetry through Converse College. Gabrielle lives with her family in Eastern North Carolina. She blogs about the writing process at

Categories: Poetry, Themed, Unfortunately I can't love you

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