James Fowler 

poet/writer and poetry writing teacher; retired US Navy

A Sailor on Weekend Pass


I met my blind date Friday afternoon on an underground street in Chicago where she talked the bouncer into letting me into the bar. Over PBRs she asked if I’d read Ginsberg or Snyder. I said I read Asimov and Heinlein. After shots of tequila, she told me of her nights in jail for protesting the war. I told her I was afraid she’d make me lose my clearance. She walked me back to the train station where the setting sun cast our silhouette on the wall as I kissed her, once. Two months later I was in Nam.—I’m still fond of the scent of limes.—I’d like to tell her that I’ve now read Ginsberg and can recite Snyder’s Turtle Island.—Maybe she remembers when the sun went down.


car lights flash through the bar windows shadows

from Falling Ashes (Hobblebush Books)