5 December 2006 | Vol. 6, No. 4

After You Told Me You Hated Roller Coasters

We took turns pointing at all the girls who would scream.

You couldn't watch so you smoked,

occasionally glancing up at this pirate ship.

One girl looked like a bird

fighting a fast wind, her arms spread out and flailing.

A boy shouted about a pair of pink panties

he saw while standing beneath her.

We read the rules about height and weight,

the warnings about our hearts, their susceptibility to breaking.

But all we could see, seated on the boat, was the boat,

the adolescents riding along with us.

And for a moment I was sorry for your nervousness,

sorry that you locked your purse so tightly between your knees,

sorry that if asked for the truth

I knew you'd want something different,

someone that didn't make you love

the nuts and bolts of the lap bar

you were too scared to hold.

About the author:

Josh Rathkamp's first book of poems, Simple Impossibilities, wiil be published by Ausable Press in the fall of 2007. His work has recently been published or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Meridian, Passages North, Sycamore Review, Puerto Del Sol and others. He teaches at Arizona State University.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Josh Rathkamp at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 4, where "After You Told Me You Hated Roller Coasters" ran on December 5, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry, editors' select.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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