It all started with a kiss
that was something like a dirty bomb
going off unexpectedly
in a populated city
in a movie that I’d seen before
where the survivors walk the streets
but the reaction takes years to dissipate
among the residue,
ticking off seconds on a Geiger counter
while one character tells another,
through eyes filled with pain and longing
that when you love someone,
sometimes that means you have to be a stranger
whether you want to or not.
Sometimes that means arriving in a place
unfamiliar; gray colors undefined and
sharp points around every corner,
cutting deep, often wounding, always
past, present, and future, I watched
a strange sixth sense develop, as
blanks fired into a dystopian landscape
two people fighting to the end of love
not even sure if the end could ever be
and like my favorite poet’s song,
kiss still lingering, I knew
someone had to tell the tale and
I guess that it was up to me

 

Photo Credit: Alex [Fino] LA Flickr via Compfight cc

Doug Hoekstra

In terms of bio, I'm a Chicago-bred, Nashville-based writer. My first book, Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, appeared on the Canopic Publishing (TN) imprint in April 2006 and earned an Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) for Best Short Fiction (Bronze Medal). Several of the selections in the book appeared in other publications, and one story, “The Blarney Stone” was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize. Other stories and poems of mine have appeared in numerous online and print literary journals and a second book of prose, The Tenth Inning, was released independently in 2015 In a previous life, I was a singer-songwriter troubadour who released seven albums of original material on labels in Europe and America; performing in the US and Europe at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles, solo and with a band in tow. Highlights included Nashville Music Award and Independent Music Award nominations, lots of Top 10 lists, and many groovy times.

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