West of Romance

by Steven Pirani

I want a perfect American life

in shambles.

Want you to stumble out 

                          of the shower

                                   with a gun

and call me a nickname I never heard before.

And I'll have to


                        you down

                        from killing me.

You, a paisley bandana over your forehead,

Me, a boomerang for a heart.

I want to love you

                          Like Tylenol,

                               Like a crater lake,

                                               Like dawn.

Carrying you out from bars,

Stinking like vodka and pine needles,

Mumbling “motherfucker” into my shoulder.

                         â€˜Cause you


                                      deserve much

                                                 better than

Our rice-paper romance we had on the highway.

That tape-player love affair,

That fogged window soiree. My love,

                         don't let 

                              the Arizona heat

                                         make a mirage of me.

All we ever had was the outskirts of Reno.

You, young and dressed in black.

Me, in my favorite hat.

                          Cursing the 

                                    summer heat

                                         and the summer heart.