Mr. On-Time

Alan King

Every ex-boyfriend hated me
when I was single. His used-to-be
got to know me as Mr. On-Time-

Even in a zip-up cardigan
and dress jeans, I show up
like a sky blue Bentley belting out
Peabo Bryson’s Feel the Fire.

I was that smile on her face
over Thai basil eggplant and rice
when I said her kiss was a cozy lounge
with a fireplace going and Spacek’s Thursday
spooling through wall speakers.

She kissed like that, enough
to buzz a lesser man’s brain
bright as a heat bulb.

She had those curves that,
if you weren’t ready, made you
a car on a winding road at night
with busted headlights.

Her smile was a condo on a quiet side
of town—a dim living room with a coffee table
holding up a scrabble board, two glasses
and a bottle of Irish Cream.

The songs of lost love is Regret
whimpering in upturned hands,
begging for a road on which to cruise back
into her good graces.

But I’m her Dark Knight, now.
My symbol glows in the ether
when Need calls me from my hideout.

I show up like a chauffeured Lincoln, ready
to whisk her away from disappointments.

I’m her speed dial genie dissolving
in a poof, reappearing with
the ground cumin and coriander
that makes her Malaysian dish perfect.

His lapse in judgment was
an open window I swung through.
My time like a wad of money
burning to be spent.

Last updated September 27, 2022