Date Night and Dean Young

Tonight was date night. I freshened my mustache, walked into a cloud of cologne called "Tokyo", and took M to a Chinese spot in Arlington. She wore a short brown dress with black boots and a coat she kept draped over her like a shawl. I had the Three Gorges Chicken, not knowing the slightest what I was in for but liking the name. Number 54. M had number 45—a shrimp dish. They were playing Christmas music as we sat at a booth and it felt like we were younger, clumsier. I tried to remember what the lover gives on each day of Christmas and kept thinking the french hens could have been any day, every day.

I read Strike Anywhere by Dean Young tonight. I'd made an abortive attempt at it years ago. A few pages in this evening and I hated it. After being in so many poetry classes filled with people gaudily attempting his brand of hip parataxis, I was ready to toss him with his fans. But then, it won me over.