in Imaginary Cats (poetry and prose)

Keys to the Moon

“Keys to the Moon

I opened an email today,
a part of my past with a few
photos that shined,
a first of its kind,
memories on ice thawed
as her cocoa brown eyes
tuned my heart into songs
I hadn’t heard since
Ferris Buehler’s Day Off,
Mandela still slept in a cell,
Wall Street had no ceiling,
Reagan & Rocky fought the Russians,
computers were still for nerds,
bills were a grown-up myth
& MTV only played music videos.

Back when our pack
kept chaos in our pockets,
& chased everything we couldn’t catch;
laughs fueled our upside down nights,
Pepe Lopez style
spot to spot, party to party,
beaches & clubs &
gettin’ laid or passin’ out
on someone else’s lawn
none of it mattered
because we were full of lava
with keys to the Moon;
Time never needed a clock
every day was the middle of June
& the whole world was
five minutes from last call…

I leaned back &
glanced around my office,
adrift on a slow Merry-Go-Round
recounting dreams
the world had sold long ago:
laughter & tears,
careers & pallbearers,
ex-girlfriends & near misses,
garterbelt catches at weddings,
where I woke up one day an Uncle,
inherited my grandpa’s gut
& a few gray hairs —
haunted by echoes
most only hear
a few lifetimes later.

Her email opened a lens,
a missing link to happy times
& forgotten sins
I pondered if Love for a friend
overruled what-ifs & old Lusts
best left unsaid.

Either way,
I clicked reply
thankful she was in my life
again.

— Max Nomad

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