When I Was Twenty-One

Our eyes met across the smoke filled bar
The Boss playing on repeat on an 80’s jukebox
I was a big girl doing shots
Laughing, dancing and singing with my girls
Not a care in the world or one fuck’s sake
In my short skirt, ripped tank, fishnets and combat boots
I was bold and bodacious
You weren’t from here
I could tell
By the sneakers and easy way you ran your fingers through your slick, brown hair
Your eyes smiled on me and I believed the sincerity
You were just passing through from someplace else
I wondered
Probably some lucky girl’s beau in a different backwoods small town
Or a big city maybe, New York, Texas, or Cali?
Holding the pool stick with a smirk like a man nursing an Old Milwaukee
Your kind eyes fixated on me, and I went limp
Just for the briefest, fleeting second
I felt the heat of lust rush up the back of my neck
I could have loved you then
When I was twenty-one without airs
Instead, I shrugged you off
The goose bumps came and went
While I sang “Born To Run” way too loud and off key
Drunk, a little too drunk for a good girl
When I was twenty-one
All big hair and coral lipstick hot stuff, hot shit, big mouth
Already used up
I’d blown through one, two, three too many jocks in my town
Got a messy, bad reputation
They felt me up and later knocked me down real hard
All I ever wanted to feel was pretty
I wish I had met you then, oh chivalrous gentleman
I would have liked to know a kind, sweet, sensitive lover before all the others
Busted lips, broken ribs, blood gushes
Black eyes, worthlessness, kicked to the curb before twenty- three
Too young to stop fighting
Trust was a word stolen from my vocabulary some long, long, time ago
And you looked like heaven with a sweet renegade’s soul
Too easy to forget
Completely unforgettable
I still meet you in my dreams replaying the scenario
Tapping the wood floor in time with the tunes and waiting on you to come my way
I would have liked that
When I was twenty-one
Embraced by your innocence, a consuming, all encompassing, safe, good kind of love
You look so different to me now
Appealing
Sensitive means strong and cerebral means intuitive
I wish I had met you then and not twenty years too late
For cruel fated, out of step lovers
Who will never meet again?
Only in between the lines of poetry
And vintage photographs
When I was twenty-one has come and gone some long time ago
I carry a gilded sword now, wounded pride and honor
I wear a chip on my jaded, shielded shoulder
My sweet boy, the gentle lover lost to me forever
We live parallel lives you and I
Separated by time and unlucky circumstance
Romance for me lives on the big screen now
Where googly eyes and dreamy sequences light up the dark, cold night
Oh, how I’ve forgotten how to dream in color
I so wish
I could go back to that bar and a bit of bravado
To a time when I was carefree
When I was twenty-one
And age was just a number
You and I would meet halfway on the floor
Between racking cue balls and a love song
“Tell me now baby is he good to you
Can he do to you the things that I do
I can take you higher
I’m on fire”
Time travel’s tricky, baby
Photo Credit: jaredeberhardt Flickr via Compfight cc



Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of
http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

6 thoughts on “When I Was Twenty-One

  1. Dori OwenDori Owen Reply

    “Tell me now baby is he good to you
    Can he do to you the things that I do
    I can take you higher
    I’m on fire”
    Because you reside in my mind, I suppose it’s no coincidence I’ve had this on replay in my car for days…oh, those lost moments of what could have been.
    “…And a freight train running through the middle of my head””
    A bazillion XOs -D

    1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

      Come on, Mary…I’ll meet you by the bar and we’ll giggle until our sides hurt dancing the night away. Who cares about the boys. lol
      And make only the smartest decisions.

      Thank you <3
      J

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