Online Open Mic – 2021
You don’t want to miss this epic poem by Melissa St. Pierre! Full of nostalgic contemplations, her poem rocks on with the music.
My favorite line: “The driving makes me remember and imagine. There’s a flip flop between reality and imagination and add in a dose of guilt, and I could cry. I could cry- drive and I don’t know where I’m going.”
Please Address My Speeding Tickets to Jon Bon Jovi
Melissa St. Pierre
If I ever say the words “pixie cut” ever again, I need to be desperately smacked.
I let my hair grow out and it touches my shoulders for the first time in years. So I put it in a loose braid today.
It’s 78 degrees in Michigan in November. And I drove with the windows down and the music up a little too loud. My hair flew out of the braid, all burgundy whipping. But it was all okay, because it was summer. In November. In Michigan. Period.
When I listened to Gavin Rossdale tell me love remains the same, it pushed me, and it made me want to close my eyes. But I couldn’t because: I was driving. And when I opened my metaphorical eyes, I saw your face. But it wasn’t the face I know, it was the face I remember.
I couldn’t listen to the book I’m devouring because the chapter on marriage was a little too introspective and self reflective for now. For this current time.
Leave it to a wildfire pandemic to make me think about kissing. When physical distance is not only “suggested” but required. I can self preservation today and reflection on another day.
I continue to listen and Gavin fades into Amy Winehouse, The Allman Brothers Band, Michelle Branch, Gaga, and Lizzo. My taste in music ranges far and wide and the classics are admittedly a favorite. Bruce Springsteen is on and I am singing “baby, we were born to run!!!!” Am I? Who are we, “baby”?
But what I’d like to know: where am I running Bruce? Where?
My husband told me I was stuck in his web. Like an insect.
Like. A. Fly.
I married him anyway.
Before him there was the older man.
He died in May. I sat at my dining room table and thought, there’s no way that’s him. He’s too young.
No one told me because we do not have mutual friends anymore. I found out the usual way: social media.
I cried because he died and I still thought of the word “asshole” whenever his name was spoken or I happened to think of him.
“Why men great, til they gotta be great?”
I don’t know Lizzo, I really don’t.
I skip the song halfway through because although I’m sure she didn’t mean for it to happen, it connects too greatly to the book I can’t listen to right now. It is summer after all. In November. In Michigan.
Instead, leave it to me to imagine kissing in a wildfire pandemic.
I kind of chuckle because I don’t know if I remember how.
The driving makes me remember and imagine. There’s a flip flop between reality and imagination and add in a dose of guilt, and I could cry. I could cry- drive and I don’t know where I’m going.
My car fills with warmth that I don’t generate but in my mind I tilt my face up to the sky.
I can still see the road and hear “Let It Be” and I begin to think that maybe I can.
“And as for me, I wish that I was anywhere with anyone
If kissing is my religion, I’m a lost parishioner.
Take me to church.
The last time I touched you was on the side of a hill. Our friends were all there, and you kept my silly ass from rolling down to a service drive. My skinny jeans and pencil heels were years ahead of the times. I was damn cute. And when my heel got stuck in the early May ground, you reached for me. We held hands and talked while my boyfriend looked on from the ground. I would never care what he thought about that moment, and I’ve never shared it. It was all mine.
Tonight, I’m standing in my kitchen, waiting for my hot glue gun to warm. Ed Sheeran is on by some cruel algorithm. I love him, but I don’t love the way “Thinking Out Loud” makes me feel right now.
“Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars.”
My November summer ended and it has snowed since then.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving.
It didn’t snow, thank God.
I’ve returned to my book and turned the music down to a socially acceptable volume.
I have my hair up as well.
Summer isn’t far off after all.
In the meantime, please address my speeding tickets to Jon Bon Jovi.
Melissa St. Pierre teaches writing and rhetoric at Oakland University in Michigan. Her work has appeared in The Blue Nib, Ponder Savant, Panoply, 45 Women’s Literary Journal, Valiant Scribe, and Elizabeth River Press Literary Anthology. St.Pierre has also performed her work in Listen to Your Mother, a literary nonfiction storytelling showcase.