Size / / /

J.T. is humming a tune, sitting on a three-legged stool,

Graying hair slicked down. He is not wearing the shiny

White suit which fit his trim figure so snugly in the heady

Days of Saturday night fever. In our scene John is dressed

In old jeans and a tee, like me. Faint flecks of snow or

Feather shards seem to shroud his sloping shoulders.

We smoke and chat like chums, telling jokes. I ask him:

How come you and I are sitting on a tiny patio, sipping

Soda pop? And why do you keep telling me how much

You like Tom Hanks and a star I don't know, saying they're

Pretty shitty when you get to know them? You stand up,

Hike your pants in a shrug, like a teenager. I wonder why.

I ask him: What does it mean, you appearing in my

Flickering dream? You speak so warmly, John, and act

Like a friend long lost, eager to talk about the good old

Days, which, so far as I recall, you and I never had at all.

You mention our high school friends, our fave teachers, but

You know good and well, we did not go to the same school.

Like voices in many of my dreams, I hear yours clearly,

As if I had talked to you yesterday. I notice your teeth

Have sheen. You laugh easily, chuckle at a lame remark

I make about Hollywood and stars and their phony aura.

What else can I do, John, this dream is making me feel

Important, like you came calling to tell me something.

When I get up to pour us another drink, you grab the

Pitcher before I can replenish our paper cups. I ask him:

Why are we drinking out of paper cups, anyway? I need

To know. We walk to the edge of the patio, your arm around

My shoulder; we gaze into the open sky. Before my very eyes,

Like a fading preview trailer, Travolta dissolves into the night.

Earl J. Wilcox, retired after 40 years of university teaching and writing, began writing poetry and fiction quite recently. An international scholar on Robert Frost, Jack London, and others, he has published several books and essays on numerous American writers. He is an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan and has written several baseball poems. "There is No Crying in Baseball" will appear in the Fall 2005 issue of Third Lung. You can contact him by email at:
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
Wednesday: Unity by Elly Bangs 
Friday: The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert 
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