Under the Influence
Martin drove me back to the university
after a weekend at home. Twenty five miles
to a different universe. That’s what I thought then.
He parked the Impala and walked me up
to my shared room at New Dorms. Want me to come in,
he said. I told him he could go home. Like a princess to a serf.
A princess with apprehension. He turned to the stairs;
I opened the door. My roommate Judy was there,
some friends, the smoky air thick and sweet with grass.
What if my father had come in? I said, my voice, usually too loud
muted by laughter, Dylan’s songs, and stoned exclamations.
Someone was lounging in my bed.
Next day, Martin called. What would I have seen, he said.
Oh, I said, improvising, some friends sprawled everywhere.
You know, college. He didn’t know but he wasn’t thick.
Be smart, he said. Don’t get carried away.
You want to talk to Mama?
I told him I’d call the next day.
I remembered but I didn’t pick up the phone.