Moving to Pennsylvania

June, 1956:
the second summer
of my teen-age career.
The Five Satins
had In The Still of The Night
in heavy rotation
on WINS radio,
1010 on the dial
where Alan Freed held forth.
He may have taken payola
but he sure played some great shit.
There are some records that deserve
to ride the airwaves.
If a palm needs to be greased
to make it happen,
so be it.

Dusk in early summer,
twilight lingers
over the benches by the playground.
School is out; promise
makes me lightheaded.

I had a little pocket money that week.
Enough to take Joan Thorne
up to the Palisades.
I hugged up on her
in the Tunnel of Love.
She was a dark Italian girl,
probably 13.

One night
she let me carry her to her bed.
I don't know where her mama was.
I do know that Heartbreak Hotel
was on WINS.
And I was hard and confused.

Under her unbuttoned blouse,
I saw her fresh buds
rising toward me,
little teacakes in an oven.
We were alone in that apartment,
20th street, east of First Avenue.

Mama was out,
Elvis was on.
Blood pounded in my ears.
I had to be home by 8:30.
I was late and I was foolish.
I guess I thought Joannie would be there
waiting for me
later that week
but Tuesday,
we moved to Pennsylvania.

I remember
asking the movers
if they had rock and roll
out there.
They weren't sure
and they didn't care.

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