Two Poems by Liz Tynes Netto
I’m curled up against him in a photograph.
We’re sprawled by the lake
on flagstones I still walk across every summer,
two empty plastic cups with little straws
and his Marlboro Reds in the foreground,
crab apple tree in the background,
no leaves and the grass not looking summer
but I can’t tell if it’s spring or if it’s fall,
the green is so washed out.
Now I can make a picture look just like this
on my iPhone with the push of a button –
the filter is called 1977 on Instagram.
In other apps it’s just Faded or Nostalgia
but this, this is the “real deal,” as they say -
him in his jeans and beaten up leather boots,
me in my cords and sneaks.
I knew girls in high school who got licked
and pawed for their daddy’s money
but it’s the suicidals who are drawn to me.
They come, iron filaments lining up for a magnet,
and then I know that’s what Dad left me -
a gunmetal taste in the mouth
they all seem to want to kiss.
Here’s how you know you’re old. You see a boy and you just want to suck his dick. You don’t want him to fuck you. You just want to suck him like a vampire. The sweet, clean-cut, college boys who smell like shaved pencils and fresh cut grass and maybe beer. Not the ones you liked in college, the older boys, the scrawny boys, the tattooed troubled boys, the grad student with the, ahem, goatee. Noooo, oh forget those boys. It’s the smooth boys now, the Mormon blond boys that get you off, polite smiles,
button downs and blazers. You think of all the stoned surfer boys peeling off their wet suits in front of you for four years in Santa Cruz and you can’t believe you once found them boring because they didn’t read Nietzsche or whatever shit you were into at the time. Instead, you “made love” on a futon with an English major
who played Bach sonatas and jazz and spoke Spanish, and Hebrew, and talked of the paradigm shift. Noooo, oh forget those boys. These days, I want to reach my wedding-ringed,
well-manicured hand five hundred miles up California’s Route 1 and back twenty years. I’d give my plump apple cheek a smack for not rolling, licking, sucking, and fucking all those fine boys coming out of the water like seals, strong, smooth, salty and wet.
Liz Tynes Netto is a lapsed journalist, documentary filmmaker, and resident of Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared in The West Trestle Review, The Mas Tequila Review, The Lummox and others. A current MFA candidate at Antioch University, Los Angeles in Fiction, she is writing a novel.