July 21, 2015

Susana H. Case

HOLD ME LIKE YOU’LL NEVER LET ME GO

In the street, I find an acoustic guitar,
no name on it, so I decide it’s mine and
learn some chords from
a pretty boy ten years younger
whom I retrieve from a SoHo party.

He plays in a garage band. He likes
my long, ironed-straight hair, how I
remove my clothes, their erratic cuts,
easy to toss onto a chair. For a week
we don’t leave the apartment.

He makes no plans to go home, but home
is Sweden, so that’s understandable.
I strum and roam through rooms,
feeling like a folk goddess.
I’m leavin’ on a jet plane, I sing.

You ever spend a whole week naked, talking
about nothing but folk rock? But then 
we run out of food and being with him begins
to seem like shoplifting. You ever do that,
take what you want just to see how it feels?

from Rattle #48, Summer 2015
Tribute to New Yorkers

[download audio]

__________

Susana H. Case: “I am one of the few people I know in NYC who was born here and when I consider all the possibilities, how lucky was that? I found an academic job and stayed. My most recent book is 4 Rms w Vu, and yes, New Yorkers are obsessed with their apartments (sometimes houses): finding them, keeping them, coping with their neighbors, landlords, etc. It’s hard to know how I’d be writing if I hadn’t grown up here and remained, or even if I’d be writing, but without sidewalks as my encyclopedia, my words would probably have less of an edge. I’d probably sound nicer. I might even be nicer, but I don’t really believe that. I know I wouldn’t have written ‘Hold Me Like You’ll Never Let Me Go.’”