Alan Abrams

Playing with Fire

“…whatever you do, you will be sorry
all the rest of your life if you say no.”
~Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Did you ever play with matches
though your parents told you not to?
Of course you did, and so did I, but
did you scorch your brand new trousers,
or burn down the neighbor’s shed?

Or when you turned sixteen, did you
clamber out your bedroom window,
and coast your father’s car out of earshot?
Then where’d you go, and who’d you meet?
And did you make it back before the dawn?
But what I really want to know is if
you ever kissed a woman who you knew
was someone’s else’s. Did that kiss
burn down their house or your own?
And are you happy now?

Elegy on a One-Nighter

“Neither can the wave that has passed by be recalled,
nor the hour which has passed return again.” 
~Ovid, Ars Amatoria
Up the slapdash steps, on the side of a small cape cod,
to your cozy little bedroom, that much closer to god.
Me with an introduction, and a jug of cheap red wine–
a little liquid something, to ensure the stars align,
and you with just a first name, and likewise me to you;
I drained the most of the jug, but you had plenty too,
before we tumbled into bed; me, benumbed enough to last
until I found your groove. Then, oh, what a blast
we had, losing our human selves, going completely wild;
and after we had finished—how softly you smiled.
I climbed your stairs again to share another magic night—
but the spell was broken, and we could not get it right.
Now, where nights are more sedate, at time’s infinite distance—
do I make too much of this, in memory’s persistence?

Every Damn Thing

“I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I’m crazy for loving you”
~Willie Nelson
The best love is crazy love. Crazy because it is true,
because, truth is, all love is crazy. At least that’s what I say,
and you would think, crazy as I am, that I would know.
I know you wanted my crazy love, maybe not so much
because it was true, but because it was truly crazy.
Every damn thing about it.
So what if it did not last. You moved on a lot sooner than I did.
I covered more territory, but you went further. I have no idea
how you loved your other lovers, but I’ll bet they were all
crazy about you. Because I still am, in a crazy way,
even though you’re gone. All this is true.
Every damn thing about it.
~in memory of Linda Talbott


Alan Abrams has worked in motorcycle shops, construction sites, and architecture studios. He has lived in the heart of big cities, and in the boonies on unpaved roads. His poems and stories have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Rat’s Ass Review, The Raven’s Perch, Bud and Branch (UK), LitBop, and others. His poem “Aleinu,” published by Bourgeon, is nominated for the 2023 Pushcart Prize.

Spread the lust

The Erozine