LORRAINE BROOKS, Class of '69, is currently Director of the Employee Assistance Program at State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn, NY. She has held this position for 15 years.
____After graduating from Art and Design HS, Ms. Brooks received her bachelor's degree in Communications from Queens College, a Certificate in Chemical Dependency Counseling from the South Oaks Institute for Behavioral Studies, and a Master's in Public Health, Summa Cum Laude, from Brooklyn College. She is listed in the 2004 edition of Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
____Lorraine is also an adjunct professor in community health at Brooklyn College and Long Island University. In addition, she is host of the Downstate Medical Center-produced cable TV show HEALTH CENTER.
____Among her outside interests, Lorraine is an avid writer and film producer, currently working on several independent film projects and is the author of 'Riding The Wave', a poetry collection, Published by BTS Books: BTSBooks2007@aol.com.

Driving into the September Sky

Streams of sunlight drift through
_____the clouds -- and peek at me
_____like the eyes of children.
Autumn whispers its entrance.
Icy winds and warm breezes meet over me
_____and delight on my skin.
I remember you.

You're old now.
Take my arm.
Once a man, twice a child, as they say.
Sometimes you don't remember things.
I am most sad when it's the things
I think you should remember.
Like the day I got my ears pierced.
Or the first time I was in a school play.
Or the last time.
Or which school it was.

You're old now.
Take your time.
Once upon a time, as they say.
Back in the day when time was immaterial.
But now it's running out.
I think you must remember
But I know you don't, and I know you know
How little time there is
And how fleeting.

You're old now.
Take a breath.
Once in a lifetime, as they say.
You only live once and I think you lived well.
No regrets and no spite.
Simple pleasures and simple fun
And good times with kith and kin.
Good times now gone
And not recollected.

You're old now.
Take it in.
Once over gently, as they say.
Enjoy the forests and the reeds
And the night birds, and the changing seasons.
Be here now.
Now is ever present and always fine.
Let's go for a ride.
And We'll Dance

Now you know this doesn't make any sense
The way we dance back and forth
As if we don't know what we really want.
No, I'm not going to reveal myself
And my sense is, neither will you.
What are the chances that at the exact same moment
We will both declare our intentions
And allow ourselves to know
What we already know?
And what would you do if I reached to kiss you?
Sometimes when I stand close
You lean back into me like you're inviting me
To take a taste.
Or at least to accept the invitation gracefully
By lightly touching your forehead
Which I did once, and immediately regretted
Even though you closed your eyes and seemed to melt.
It was like I didn't believe it.
Didn't believe that you could feel me like I felt you.
Well stand back, baby.
I don't have time for any more regrets.
My heart is sinking because I don't want to lose at this
But I have to know what my chances are.
So, what do you say?
Will you allow me to take your hand
And lead you out onto the dance floor
Where I will place my thigh between yours firmly -
Pull you to my breast
And waltz with you until you beg for mercy ...
The Man in the Green Shirt

Entering the harbor among the tall ships
Land lurks in front of me like a mirage
Of shimmering moving undefined waves of grass
Over the horizon just out of reach.
My ship embarked on this trip
Without my permission, as many journeys do.
Had I known, I would have jumped ship
Back in my adolescence
When the days were warm and sunny
And my body was the gift from God
That it should be.
Sails whip with the wind over my head
And swarthy men right the boat,
Their muscles glistening in the opaque sunlight.
I am noticing him, across the deck,
In his green shirt, sleeves rolled up to his elbows
To expose the tattoo of an orgasmic mermaid
Writhing in tune with his flexing.
I never anticipated this moment, nor how I would feel
As alive and well and ready and willing
As I am
With my blood running close to my skin
And my knees weak, almost to crawling.
I am not hungry.
I am not sick.
I am not miserable.
I am not in pain.
I am being taken up into the arms of a man
In a green shirt
And nothing in this world is hurting me,
Right now, in this moment.
He motions to me and without hesitation
I begin to walk in his direction
As his shirt bellows behind him like the sails of the ship
That will transport me out of this life.
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