by Malcolm Glass
Sookie and I fell in love in bumper cars.
For many years, until I hit fifth grade
and Sookie, I was the spring carnival star,
knocking grade school kids in Dade
County into a bamalam sideways spin,
smack into another driver. But a third
grade red-head named Sookie Lynn,
a skinny, pint-sized, cocky bird
of a girl, a newbie, made me look so
bad, slamming me every which way,
pinning me hard in the corner. “Go,
Sookie!” My friends would pay
for that. Shoved down the side wall
by her pedal-to-the-metal zeal,
I cringed at her laughter and all
their jeers. My steering wheel
yanked at my hands, but I hung on
somehow, bone-jarred to the end.
I sat there, head down, pride gone.
“Ricky, will you be my boyfriend?”
Leaning on the side of my car, she smiled,
teeth missing, freckles sprinkled all
over her face, pigtails loose and wild.
“Kiss me, silly,” she said. Screams, catcalls
fell all over us. And the more they hissed
and booed, the longer we held that kiss.
Malcolm Glass has published a dozen books of poetry and non-fiction. His poems, fiction, and articles have appeared in many literary journals and magazines, including “Poetry” (Chicago), “Prairie Schooner,” “New Letters,” “Vanderbilt Review,” “The Linking Ring,” and “The Sewanee Review.” His newest collection of poems, Mirrors, Myths, and Dreams was released by Finishing Line Press in October, 2018.