San Francisco B.C.
for Amy Berkowitz
“Romance is the douche of the bourgeoisie.”
“Think of your parents at the BART station.”
These are things the tourism board
doesn’t tell you. They’re natural
inclinations—like slipping into
a pea coat, like pulling the gruff
off a Midwestern accent.
Breakfast sandwiches are eaten
while the ocean keeps working.
A beachcomber scours for a silver watch,
its missing poster next to the band’s.
You wrote a poem about San Francisco.
I think I’m in there, in the game
of Telephone between sections seven and eight.
I told my friend what you told me—
that it was likely arson. That people
are so angry. When people are angry
in Texas, someone’s gotta die.
That’s only one reason why I didn’t
want to go back. There’s that old
song, “I Left My Heart in SF.” Yes,
maybe not my heart, but something.
“Can we please go five minutes without talking about corn futures?” she pleaded. At this, our therapist gave me one of those looks, the kind of look that confirmed that every fissure in my relationship was chiseled with a tiny, specialty hammer that only I had access to. A Nate-style of hammer, if you will. Corn is important; I thought this was so obvious as to not say anything. I grimaced and nodded. I went five minutes without mentioning corn futures.
But it didn’t end there. Like an upstart breeze through the boondocks, corn disappeared from my life. I no longer cared about corn in any way. I buried all the cobs from the farmer’s market in the backyard. I bleached my hair from its natural corn hue, to a nice scorched-earth gray. I unsubscribed from the corn futures listserv and left the goodbye message: “Really? Corn?”
Now, me and my wife couldn’t be happier. We’re solid broccoli folk. We have a good handle on things.
Nate Logan is from Indianapolis, Indiana. His recent work appears in Ohio Edit and Pouch. With Laura Theobald, he edits Spooky Girlfriend Press.