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2008-08-13

Nelson Riddle
B. 6.1.1921 Oradell, New Jersey / D. 10.6.1985 Los Angeles
Liver Ailments

Are we still dating?
I wish I knew, but since we’re not communicating
day to day
I don’t. It’s queer.
Are we still dating?
I must confess, if it were up to me we would be copulating
in “our” way
but it is not—this much is clear.

You do not call.
You do not write.
I am alone
another night.
I wish I knew
a better cure for blue
than you.

Are you still internally debating?
I’d hate to interrupt in case it’s my side advocating
for its say
before the judge and jury of its peer.
What are you incubating?
Something scarier than silence, I’m anticipating:
we shall see
if ever you’re no longer neither there nor here.

You do not call.
You do not write.
I am alone
another night.
Oh woe is me
a tragedy:
Too free.

Are we still dating?
If not I can’t imagine why you’re hesitating:
“Go away.”
I hear you say it when you don’t appear.
Does it need stating?
I’m very sorry that I made us lose our PG13 rating:
two can play
but I forgot that only one should steer.

You do not call.
You do not write.
I liked you so
you really might.
“For you I pine
and balsam too.”
It’s true.

Are we still dating?
This afternoon I thought of emigrating.
I thought you hated waiting—
or maybe that was only me projected onto you—I’m hating
your delay
in any case—oh, not hate but fear.
I find this enervating.
My face feels full of little after-happy smiles deflating;
with a sigh
each smile subsides and waits to be a tear.

You do not call.
You do not write.
I liked you so
you really might.
A word or two
would really do:
As in
“Adieu.”

Consolation Site: For Sinatra 1954 / For Rags & James

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