Tornado Alley

Saturday nights, we used to
gather all of us in Tamiís basement.
Her mom brought down snacks
at quarter-hour intervals
while we spread out
on bean bags in the dim TV glow,
near touching, trying not to
breathe too loudly.
But itís hard to enjoy a romantic comedy
when youíre still a virgin,
so most nights we boys left early,
stomping our bike pedals
down those field-shadowed roads,
all the way to Momís Arcade
winking and bleeping
behind the old pizza place,
where glass women
leaned their great, luminous cleavage
over our nervous pinballs.
Sometimes, though, we stayed
to watch a bridesmaid
confess her love for the groom
after an extravagant misunderstanding,
John Cusack raising his boombox
like a knightís standard.
Afterwards, they asked us
if we understood, this now a test
and we, their star pupils.
We shrugged and looked down.
Outside, wind pounded the windows
which shook in answer,
as though asking to be broken.

Michael Meyerhofer's second book, Blue Collar Eulogies, was published by Steel Toe Books. His first book, Leaving Iowa, won the Liam Rector First Book Award. He has also won the James Wright Poetry Award, the Annie Finch Prize and the Laureate Prize. his work has appeared in Ploughshares, Arts & Letters, River Styx, North American Review, Green Mountains Review and other journals. Visit him at www.troublewithhammers.com (mrmeyerhofer@bsu.edu)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761