Hayworth and Me
Arizona: I’d never visited that blue furnace of
before 1990, but I met a redhead in Memphis,
chased her to Mesa, where she lived with a
deserted her body that seethed with happy heat.
eyes told me she needed another man, whether
friend, or a fellow film noir fan to watch a
Gilda, starring Glenn Ford.
I teased her, nicknamed
Hayworth. She loved that, asked me to visit.
I decided later to fly west like a falcon, like
Joe I was. When I arrived, she dubbed me
Kenny Rogers because I gambled on her, so I
let her call me Kenny, though I never liked his
music. I said, Well,
Rita, should we fuck
now that I’m here?
Will you leave your husband for me?
Oh, sure, Kenny, she said. Before I do, though,
Patti and her boyfriend’ll
take care of you, no
question. They showed me Mesa,
Rita and I never saw each other again. Call me
stupid, a hopeless romantic, call me a
cactus-loving idiot playing
tag with a woman who wouldn’t let me catch her.
Useless, I felt—useless as a Mormon on Mars.
Visiting Arizona again hasn’t entered my mind
in thirty years.
Why not? Well, Patti, one of my best friends,
listed Rita’s husbands:
Xavier, who sold Xeroxes and had my deep voice,
Yank, a quarterback who dropped dead from a
headache, and then
Zeke, a cross between Glenn Ford and Kenny
David Spicer is a former medical journal proofreader. He has
published poems in Santa Clara Review, Synaeresis, Chiron
Review, Remington Review, unbroken, Third Wednesday,
The Tipton Poetry Review, Moria, CircleStreet, The Bookends Review, The
American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Yellow Mama, The Midnight Boutique, and
elsewhere. Nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart twice, he
is author of six chapbooks, the latest of which is Tribe of Two (Seven
CirclePress). His second full-length collection of poems, Waiting for
the Needle Rain, is now available from Hekate Publishing. His website is http://www.davidspicer76.com.