After She Saw My NIN Shirt

“What other bands do you like?” she asks
as she cloaks me with plastic and fingers my hair.
I fumble for names I knew in the past,
bands I listened to a few months ago
before Bizzy Bone stole me away Christmas Day.
“The Cure and Garbage,” I squeak. Turbulence fades
as she understands the name through my stutter.
Each mutual note that strums from her pierced lips
tears at the tension, leaves a puppy at play.
“Look straight.” But my head’s a stone on the sea,
tranquil by the salve from her strawberry mouth,
her cherry blonde highlights, her milky face.
The clouds wither, the storm subsides. I could surf blind!
So I close my eyes. I kindle the fire with more names
that pour from nostalgia her eyes help me recall.
“I saw their last show,” I boast in hopes to enchant her-
if not into my wife, at least into my life. Floodgates collapse,
I speak without impediment, she listens with eyes and ears
and then I say “I love Gwen Stefani” and I stop.
I shout at myself, “I should have said No Doubt!”

Critique

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