Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.

“I Love Barbie Taylor. T. Mc.” 
by Miles David Moore

Graffiti spray-painted on a wall in Arlington, VA, now demolished 

It’s official now. T. Mc no longer  
loves Barbie Taylor—not for the commuters 
on I-395 who for eight thousand yesterdays  
read passion in three-foot schoolboy script. 
Today the bulldozers came, and romantic  
words became rubble, to be cleared away  
for the ritual mating of asphalt and earth. 

But what of real love? Did Barbie and T.’s  
live past demolition or die long before it? 
Did T.’s love leave the wall? Was Barbie’s ever there? 
When Barbie laid azure or emerald or onyx  
eyes on T.’s declaration, did she roll them  
in ecstasy or embarrassment? 
Did Barbie and T. find out too late  
that love can squall and soil itself,  
or wither in a stranger’s wink, or survive  
the fatal screech of cars against each other? 

Or did Barbie and T., a couple not perfect  
but comfortable with their familiarity,  
see their wall come down with a pang for youth  
so long gone, so shortly gone,  
hold hands for the millionth time, and wave  
at T. Junior walking with his first girlfriend? 
If the earth has an answer, the dozers drown it out. 
Their burring voices shake the overpass  
where “Todd Loves Tiffany” appeared last week  
and echo in the park, rustling the oak tree  
where Isaac has loved Maude a hundred years. 

Miles David Moore was founder of the IOTA poetry reading series, which he hosted in Arlington from 1994 to 2017. From 2002 to 2009, he was a member of the Board of Directors of The Word Works. His books of poetry are The Bears of ParisBuddha Isn’t Laughing, and Rollercoaster. “I Love Barbie Taylor, T. Mc.” first appeared in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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