Globe of Death
by Carson Pytell

You must remember.
It was at the Altamont Fairgrounds
when we’d both strayed from our class
and became part of the crowd surrounding
the massive mesh-metal sphere with motorcycles
inside, revving the whole way around, earning their living.

Each time they neared the top you squeaked,
jumped as on a pogo stick. I was watching, 
frightened of a crash, when you shocked me with a hug 
then paralyzed me with a kiss on the cheek. You turned
and started clapping, yelling like life could really be as easy
as that moment. I turned and realized how difficult it would be.

You must remember, I do. It happens
each time I sit at the window after meals or poems
and a girl who isn’t you scorns me for smoking
then puts her hands on my shoulders and kisses me
anyway. Remembrance is like that. Life is déjà vu.
Experience – only something which might guide reaction.

It’s hard. Sometimes I don’t get it – most often I do.
Like when my wife’s done kissing me and, though I’ve wished
for each kiss from her, I start off dreaming I’d once have kissed you.

Carson Pytell is a writer living outside Albany, NY whose work has appeared in numerous venues online and in print, including Artifact Nouveau, The Virginia Normal, NoD Magazine, Rabid Oak and Bluepepper, among others. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Coastal Shelf, and his short collection, First-Year (Alien Buddha Press, 2020) and chapbook, Trail (Guerrilla Genesis Press, 2020) are now available. In December 2020 he is slated to participate in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project.