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BERMAN, David


Classic Water


I remember Kitty saying we shared a deep longing for

the consolation prize, laughing as we rinsed the stagecoach.


I remember the night we camped out

and I heard her whisper

"think of me as a place" from her sleeping bag

with the centaur print.


I remember being in her father's basement workshop

when we picked up an unknown man sobbing over the shortwave radio


and the night we got so high we convinced ourselves

that the road was a hologram projected by the headlight beams.


I remember how she would always get everyone to vote

on what we should do next and the time she said

"all water is classic water" and shyly turned her face away.


At volleyball games her parents sat in the bleachers

like ambassadors from Indiana in all their midwestern schmaltz.


She was destroyed when they were busted for operating

a private judicial system within U.S. borders.


Sometimes I'm awakened in the middle of the night

by the clatter of a room service cart and I think back on Kitty.


Those summer evenings by the government lake,

talking about the paradox of multiple Santas

or how it felt to have your heart broken.


I still get a hollow feeling on Labor Day when the summer ends


and I remember how I would always refer to her boyfriends

as what's-his-face, which was wrong of me and I'd like

to apologize to those guys right now, wherever they are:


No one deserves to be called what's-his-face.