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Mark M Lichterman

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  What If:Vol 5-2:Soused
by Mark M Lichterman
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Mark M Lichterman
•  Elderly Woman
•  November
•  Words, I Need Words!
•  Really, What If
•  Sex Now
           >> View all 410

What if I never lied?
What if we parted in 1952 and never saw each other again... until?
What if we did meet again... sixty years later?
What if we never met in the first place?
What if?
Vol 5-2 can be found following Vol 5-1


What If: Vol 5-1



June 26 to August 25, 1952


Summer spent in an eclipse of unbearable loneliness;

July passes into August…

And the young man passed his eighteenth birthday in black despair.

Refusing dinner with his family,

barely pretending to be

thankful for the gifts given him.

that night,

the night of his birthday,

sneaking a half full

—not in a very optimistic mood—

sneaking a half empty

bottle of Canadian Club from

his father’s liquor cabinet,

driving to Talman Avenue,

at 11:30 that night

he parked in a tight,

but perfectly situated space

directly across from the building

then shut the motor.


The window shade partially pulled

to allow a breeze,

Susan’s back-lit bedroom window was opaquely visible.


Leaning against the passenger side door

with legs stretched across the seat,

opening the bottle of bourbon

he took a full-mouthed drink and,


concentrated on keeping it down.

Lighting a cigarette

he took another near-gagging swig.

Putting the bottle between his thighs,

staring at Susan’s window

his heart lurched when the bedroom

light went on and the shadow of a

person he knew was Susan passed

back and forth behind

the partially drawn shade…

Then the light went off  

and his heart pitched once again

as the shade was lifted higher to allow

the passage of more air.


Imagining Susan pulling the summer quilt back,

lying on the bed and closing her eyes…

the bittersweet memory of that one time

—that one time only—

when, in the darkness of her bedroom,

Susan had allowed her nude breasts to be kissed

and a nipple to be suckled and,

stretching her hand under the top of his pants,

she’d actually touched his bare penis.

And knowing where that was leading!

And knowing where his next touch would be and,


Oh, God, she had thought,

I want him to!

Desperately wanting him to touch her “there,”

“No!” Standing,

 pulling her bra over her breasts,

Susan had left the room

—he remembered that once Susan and he had lain on that bed together,


Though the words were for Susan,


 the words were a prayer, too.

 “Susan,” he whispered,

“do you remember me?”

Taking another drink,

 “do you think of me, Susan?

Damn you!

Do you know what you’ve let them do to us, Susan?”

Holding back tears,

 closing his eyes,

drawing on the cigarette,

taking another drink,

fixing his mind,

said firmly under his breath,

“Think of me, Susan!”


willing his thoughts to her mind:

Cry for me, too, Susan!

His tears came.

Miss me like I miss you, Susan, because…

“Oh, God,” he said aloud, “how I miss you!”



What If: Vol 5-2



Crying, his chest heaving with sobs.


…Forcing himself to stop.

Attempting to force himself to stop,

at the moment wanting,

needing physical rather than emotional pain,

he bit his lower lip until he tasted blood.

But still he cried.

Another drink.

Mixing with blood,

The bourbon stinging his lip,

causing a bit more pain than he’d wanted.

Drawing on the now raggedy end of the cigarette

he got a mouthful of tobacco

and not knowing if the cigarette was wet from bourbon,

his tears,


or the snot that ran from his nose,

he flipped the cigarette out the open window.

Taking his handkerchief from his pocket,

he wiped his eyes,

blew his nose,

dabbed at the double cut on his lip…

then took another swig from the bottle,

and another,

then another,

until eventually…

Emotionally drained,

and thoroughly soused,

his eyes closed and his chin dropped onto his chest.

Not awake and not asleep,

even in this,

for him,

usually peaceful twilight place

he could not escape the ache of his boundless dark depression…

But now things began to happen:

his head began to spin,

the car began to spin,

the world began to spin,

and, oh, yeah,

his stomach began to spin.





“Uh, oh!”

faster yet.

Wrenching the door open,

staggering to the rear of the car,

bracing himself against the right rear fender of his car

and the front fender of another car…

a white, 1951 Cadillac.

The young man had done dumb and,

oh yeah,

even stupid things in his now eighteen years,

 but he had never been spiteful,

and he had never purposely hurt another person

or damaged someone else’s property,

but now…

Susan’s parent's 1951 Cadillac.

“Fuck ’em!”

The young man turned his head to the left and….


To be continued

©March 19,  2012 / Mark M. Lichterman


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Reviewed by Rose Rideout
Everything you write is wonderful Markie.

Love your # 1 Newfie Friend XOXOXO Rose
Reviewed by Laura Fall
This is truly a terrific story my friend and as always an enjoyable read and left in suspense Laura
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