Brady Peterson captures the sexual frustration of the deployed man while at the same time tapping into a deeper kind of loneliness.
He climbs the ramp, turns before entering
the plane and sees one of his new buddies kissing
his girlfriend goodbye, she is wearing the first
miniskirt he had seen, her long legs telling
him with certainty his life had taken a wrong turn—
Oh shit, he finds himself muttering
the entire flight to Chicago. Shit, as they ride
the bus from O’Hare after spending the night
in the terminal— A girl wearing a brown
coat, boots, and a red and white scarf climbs
on the bus and sits in the seat across the aisle.
He doesn’t know if she’s pretty or not, it’s enough
she is sitting across the aisle. He steals a glance,
and she smiles at him—the beginning and end
of an affair he will carry in his coat pocket
as if it were a letter to be read at night
in the head— the only light burning. At night
when everyone was asleep, he sits cross legged
on the hard deck in his skivvies—
It is snowing outside. Morning comes at four am.
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Photo by William Long /Flickr