Alexa and Alison

The little girl asks my favorite song,
and in my current soppy state
I say “Alison,”
a classic tale of painful heartache
and growing older
and growing apart
and possible premeditated violence.

In the face of her blank stare,
I begin to sing my very best off-key iteration
which is very quickly interrupted.
“Alexa,” she says, “play something modern.”

I don’t recognize whatever modern pop hit
blazes through the speakers.
Certainly, it charted higher than Elvis Costello
back in his day.
This song serves a different purpose, though,
as the bass elastic
drums thumptastic
and synths so plastic
yields in us both moves enthusiastic.

The little girl picks me up
leads me to the living room floor
so in phase
and we dance
swept away in the moment by chance
as the music plays on
plays on.
I lose control, feel it in my soul
and beating heart
until I tremble like a flower
under the serious noon light.

Then, swaying, I slow
and stop
and breathe
and get outside my head
and consider a different kind of love
than the pathetic kind
that has beset me for days
and I stare at the little girl who offered it
but she has already moved on
to other pursuits.

“Alexa,” she asks,
“what’s a recipe for messy slime?”
“Alexa,” I say, “stop!”

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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