‘I Guess That’s Just Like Her Shampoo Or Whatever’ and ‘Toad Road’ by Eric Delp

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I Guess That’s Just Like Her Shampoo Or Whatever

Nothing
in this world
smells like strawberries. Nothing,
not even strawberries.
When the poet writes
so-and-so like strawberries
be wary.
When the lover sings
the honey-brown hair of the beloved
she means some experience
attached to the experience
of the idea of the beloved.
She means
some attachment to the experience
of the idea of love
recalls the experience
of reading once how so-and-so
with her honey-brown hair gathered at the back of her head
just so
recalls the experience
of after berry-picking as a young child
her father cracked the tab on a can of soda pop
there on the curb outside the ice cream parlor
the sunlight honey-brown in strands across the parking lot
gathered
and held the can’s mouth still sparking sugar
to her own
just so
like strawberries.

Toad Road

While you were whiskey drunk and ginger

falling through the hotel’s steel-
shimmer lobby with the hundred

strangers who all shared our uncle’s face,
I was drowning in the bathtub
back home. The place is at the edge
of a field of dry wheat husk
golden in the television screen.
There is a sharp turn in the road
and a path
and a sharp turn in both directions
and a path into the woods.
The drugs were in the glove compartment.
You were on the balcony
cupping your eyes against the sun.
Your telephone was ringing in your pocket
which I know
because I was calling. I was calling
and it rang and rang
inside your pocket on the balcony
and the sun was setting
behind you. The drugs were in the tape deck.
A stranger’s face was at the door.
The place is at the edge of
the woods and all throughout
the woods there is a sharp
turn in the road in both directions
and a path into the woods.
I met a stranger with our daughter’s face. He told me.
I met a boy who said he knew
the location of the seven gates of hell.
The drugs were in the bloodstream.
After the final turn there is
another turn.
It was the most romantic thing I’d ever heard.

Eric Delp is from Harrisburg, PA. He currently lives in Oxford, MS, where he is an MFA candidate at Ole Miss. He recently got a haircut which, according to his friend Jan, “looks great.”

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