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            “The Black Couch”
The two of them sat,
On a black couch,
In the very center,
Of a raging house party.
They met,
Quite by accident,
While standing in,
A long line,
Waiting for,
The keg of beer.
They were planning on,
Filling their plastic cups,
From it,
They had both decided,
To sit,
Till the line got,
A little bit,
Right now,
That keg is only,
10-feet away from them,
As they both sit,
In the center,
Of a 8-foot long,
Black couch.
They sit cross legged,
Indian style,
Facing each other,
To all the chaos,
Going on,
All around them,
As a rotating line,
Of anywhere,
From 3-7 people at a time,
At a time,
Waiting for a beer,
Plays out before them.
All the people in line,
Can’t help but notice,
The pair on the couch,
Locked in a visual,
Some of them,
Mostly girls,
Are enthralled,
With the sight,
Of new love,
Taking form,
Mostly boys,
Feeling embarrassed,
When they notice them,
As if they were,
Peeking through,
Someone’s window,
To view,
The ongoing scene,
Then come,
The jealous ones,
Comprised of both sexes,
Alone and hurting,
Their pain magnified,
By the sight,
Of their innocent teasing,
And playful touching,
As the two,
Of them,
Sitting on the couch,
Testing to see,
Just how special,
The other might be,
To them.
But the young lady,
Wearing the tee-shirt,
That says,
“Only elephants should wear ivory”,
And the young man,
With a 80’s style,
“Flock of seagulls”,
Aren’t worried,
What others might think,
Their whole world,
Consist of just,
These 5-cubic feet,
Around them,
And the black couch.
She tells him,
He reminds her,
Of this guy,
That was in a movie,
She saw,
A few years ago,
But she can’t remember,
The name.
Two girls,
That had been,
Sitting next to her,
Drinking and talking,
Taking turns,
Standing in line for beer,
As the other,
Saved her seat,
Both got up,
And headed for the bathroom.
He says,
While looking at,
The picture of,
The cartoonish elephant,
On her shirt,
“I love animals too”,
“I once gave $20.00 dollars”,
“To a girl in my class”,
“Collecting for PETA”.
She gives him,
A questioning look,
As a very big guy,
Holding a paper plate,
With a pile of Doritos,
Nacho Doritos,
And what looks like,
Heated up,
Cheese Whiz,
Poured all over,
The top of them,
Sits next to her,
Taking up both seats,
The two girls,
Once occupied.
The young man,
Smiles at her,
As he says,
“She was collecting for PETA”,
“But I gave her the money”,
“Before I knew”,
“What it was for”,
“She was very cute”.
The young lady bends forward,
And gives him,
A soft slug in the arm,
They both start laughing,
As he puts his arms up,
In a defensive manner,
As if to block,
Her incoming blows.
The guy,
Sitting behind,
The young man,
Who has been,
On the very edge,
Of passing out,
For the last hour now,
While balancing,
A plastic cup,
With an inch worth,
Of beer in it,
Shifts his weight,
Causing the cup to tip,
And spill its contents,
Down his left pant leg,
Which starts to bring him,
Out of his,
Nocturnal state.
He peers into,
His now empty plastic cup,
And after struggling,
To get to his feet,
He just gets into,
The line for the keg,
Paying no attention too,
His dripping wet,
Left pant leg.
The young girl,
Has stopped talking,
She tilts her head,
As she looks,
Into his eyes,
He starts to feel,
A little uneasy,
“Is something a matter?
He says,
“Did you figure out?”
“You could do”
“So much better than me?”
She smiles,
“No silly”,
“It’s just that”
“I feel really good”
“Right now”
“You make me”
“Feel real good”,
“But I don’t know why”.
She feels someone,
Tapping her on the back,
She twists her body,
And then her neck,
As the big guy,
Is holding out,
His plate to her,
“You guys want any of these?”
“I got way more”
“Then I could ever”
“Possibly Finish”.
She looks down,
On the gooey mess,
He’s holding before her,
The paper plate,
Has a fold running through,
The middle of it,
Trying to hold,
All the weight,
Of the contents,
Making it look,
A little like,
A giant taco,
The cheese,
Starting to drip,
Out of the lower corner,
Of the crease.
She smiles at him,
And just shakes her head,
The young man,
Has liked a girl before,
Even thought he was,
In love,
With a few,
But right now,
He has all those,
Same feelings,
Just that they are,
Compressed into,
Only a few hours,
Of being with her.
But never,
Has he had,
All this,
With the girl,
Feeling even close,
To the same way,
About him,
At the same time.
He watches her closely,
As she turns to face,
The big guy,
Studying the side,
Of her face,
And the slope,
Of her neck,
As if he had found,
All this new,
Uncharted territory,
To explore.
She turns both,
Her body,
And her face,
Back towards him,
Their knees touching,
As they sit cross legged,
She finds herself,
Looking at a face,
That is a mix between,
Goofy and lost,
She says,
In response,
To the face,
Being presented to her.
“Missed you”
He says,
“That was the longest”,
“I’ve gone”,
“Since we’ve met”,
“Without being able to”,
“Look into your eyes”.
She knew it was,
A corny line,
But she had never,
Had a guy,
Say anything like that,
To her before,
Especially not one,
She really liked.
A quick scream,
Came up,
From behind,
The young man,
A girl shouting out,
“This seat is all wet”,
As she leaps,
Back to her feet,
Trying to look,
Behind herself,
At the back of,
Her jeans,
To see,
If there is a stain,
Left on them,
From whatever it was,
She had sat in.
Her shouts of distress,
Don’t even register,
With the pair,
As the girl,
With the cartoonish elephant,
On her shirt,
“How did you get this?”
As she reaches over,
And traces an outline,
Of a scar,
On the back,
Of his hand,
With her finger.
“Oh that”,
He says,
“I got cut by a knife”.
“Someone Cut You?”
“I was trying to split a bagel”,
“And the knife slipped”,
“I hate”,
“Store bought bagels”
He says.
“Me Too”,
She says,
Not really being able,
To remember the last time,
She had eaten,
A bagel,
Store bought,
Or otherwise.
He takes his,
Index finger,
And hooks her,
Index finger,
They both pull,
Against each other,
A small tug of war,
Between fingers.
The whole couch,
As the big guy,
Gets up,
Lumbering towards,
A makeshift snack table,
She doesn’t turn her head,
But out of the corner,
Of her eye,
She can see,
An empty cheese stained,
Paper plate,
With a crease,
Running through the center,
Of it,
That looks as if,
All the cheese sauce,
Was licked off it,
Sitting on the,
Outdated coffee table,
In front of them.
And for the,
First time tonight,
They sat alone,
On the 8-foot long,
Black couch,
Still sitting Indian style,
Knees touching,
As they both,
Just stare into,
Each other’s eyes,
With the party,
Raging forward,
As the never ending,
Keg line,
10-feet away,
Continues on,
Just with,
Different sets of shoes,
Standing in it.
And the pair,
On the black couch,
Have yet to make it,
To the front,
Of the line,
To fill their,
Plastic cups,
For the first time,
   Tom Allen…05-31-2017…