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Being bad in a fun way is cool when I’m young
Dropping sugar cube acid with a poet at Mantara Beach
Grooving on pelicans, breakers, sand dunes
‘til we’re scared off by the cold and dark
and a seaside lurker we suspect of ill will
By sheer luck we escape both car crash and DUI

My blotter-paper venture with a different young man
includes no driving. We ingest our doses in his flat
with Stevie Wonder on vinyl, a magic mirror on the wall
and a bed for altered state sex (which proceeds poorly)
As compensation, we stroll to the corner grocery
and in states of sublimity drink apricot nectar from cans
My short, idealized, hallucinogen-curious past

But the past won’t stay obliviously gone
My blotter paper partner-in-mischief and I
exchange notes on LinkedIn, neither mentioning
“sex,” “LSD” or “mirror,” the burning question unasked:
Did I lie down in the market’s laundry aisle
tripping on engineered detergent smells,
making a joyous spectacle of myself?

The day after Mantara Beach, the poet and I awoke
to flashing patrol cars under my window
A suspect ran from the kitty-corner house
and was gunned down by automatic weapons
–a scenario we later learned involved hostages
If I could remember the poet’s name I’d Facebook him
and ask: Did we drive psychedelicized on freeways
at night–were we blithely that bad?
Did we watch a man get obliterated and think it a dream?

Or not friend. Not link. Not message. Not ask. Not recall.
Just let our past deeds go.
Fun in a bad way? No.


About the Author: Mindela Ruby is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid forms. Her novel Mosh It Up (Pen-L 2014) continues to garner literary reviews. Her short pieces have appeared in FRiGG, Melusine, Arcadia, Bound-Off, r.kv.r.y. Quarterly, Connotation Press and several other publications. A poem she wrote about brain cancer appears in the current volume of the anthology Puff, Puff Poetry & Prose. Her chapbook of prose poem-microfiction hybrids was a semi-finalist in a Slash Pine Press competition. Ruby’s poetry has won Emily Chamberlain Cook and Joan Lee Yang Memorial poetry writing prizes. She holds an M.A. from the University of Michigan and a PhD from the University of California. She currently teaches writing at a hard scrabble urban community college in the Bay Area.