More than a third of a century later,
meeting for the first time in almost all those years,
we face each other’s still somewhat familiar faces
across a table in a California restaurant,
and wonder why we did it, why we suddenly said
that night in July in Greenwich Village
“Let’s go to Connecticut,” and got on a train
and ended up at midnight in Old Greenwich, Connecticut,
holding hands on an empty road that wound past
serious grown-up sleeping houses ....
Well, I was fifteen, you were nearly twenty-one, we were experimentally
“in love,” and I guess it must have seemed
like “something to do”—better than Remo anyway,
or the coffee houses, or the Eighth Street Bookstore,
even, in that scratchy heat,
better than Jones Beach: the long low
sober train boring into a wall of black, the alien
townships spurting past on either side
(nothing very built up then),
each with its deserted, brilliant platform
malting for the next day’s passengers, the real
people who really needed to ride that train.
How cindery the windows were,
and spooky with moths outside the glamorous
club car where we sat with sodas
on itchy plush reclining seats!
And how the crickets simmered
where we got out, dizzy on 7UP!
Remember the hedges—lilac, honeysuckle—
along the way, as we walked toward
we didn’t know where?
We kissed a little
under one, tasting salt and 7UP
on each other, not sure what next
or where, then peered at
the shadows on lawn after lawn, the dim
bulk of chimneys, shapes of shutters,
here a trike, there a plastic pool,
and couples snoring, mysterious,
behind those tall white walls,
until we got embarrassed, still not sure what next,
retraced our steps, boarded another train,
and were hurried back to where we came from,
feeling like voyeurs, like trespassers.