George Guida

Now Is That, Love?

My high school girlfriend, 

so Eighties Cool
she unveiled tofu
in her fridge
to say
It lives in water       

ordered me
sushi in a new
on her tatami. 

In her bedroom of posterless walls
                                      she heckled
                                      make-up and lace

           screened me
                                      “Repo Man” 
                                      and loved that
                                      nobody cared

coaxed images
from toxic darkroom baths 

because she didn’t want to live
past fifty-nine

shot burnouts
in parking lots and snotty
little sisters flipping birds
                                                    mailed them
                                                    to kids we knew

letters addressed to names
that sounded like their names
if you were stoned 

letters threatening lawsuits
unless they admitted
connections to the accused.

She gave me a photo:
herself with cat in arms. 
which I drew the best I could

and handed her the sketch
before the final bell.

She may have believed me
when once or twice I said

I loved her
so she bent my finger
back, and asked
Now is that love? 

and did it again
the year we met grown up
with houses and spouses
and sons and daughters,
a Squeeze song playing
in both our heads

and I asked her
as she pushed a little harder,
Now, Love, don’t you know?

George Guida is the author of eight books, including four collections of poems—PugilisticThe Sleeping GulfNew York and Other Lovers, and Low Italian. His recent work appears in Aethlon, J Journal, the Maine Review, Mudfish, Poetry Daily, the Tishman Review, and Verse Daily. He teaches at New York City College of Technology, and serves as an advisory editor to 2 Bridges Review.