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ThrowBack Poetry: “Bohemian lover” and falling in love with Wilmington during my crazy mid-20s

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Bohemian lover
From a crazy night at one of my favorite Wilmington haunts, circa 2009

I’ve just found this poem I wrote circa 2010. I’ve come across it fittingly at the moment I’ve begun falling in love with another city that’s a haven for Bohemians and all kinds of creative and free spirits. Leipzig may be the “new Berlin,” but can it become my new Wilmington (North Carolina), in a mode adapted to my current life circumstances? In other words, can I balance the ever-tempting Bohemian calling that’s re-emerging with the growing call for being a responsible, driven, settled adult? Oh, what a difference five years makes…

Without further ado, I take you back to my Wilmington of half a decade ago:

My Bohemian lover, by Ana Ribeiro

It’s Saturday night,
you open up your floodgates
of wine and laughter.

Your clothing sparkles,
frenzied bodies drown in it,
your spell binds us
all together —

artists, insurance agents
moonlighting as sages,
youths who lived
many lives before,
graying dudes who did not.

People spiral to your floors,
knock heads against your walls,
write on your bathroom doors.

Time and again,
you forgive them.

They drink all your booze,
show you a lot of skin,
but I don’t have to be jealous —
with you I’m just me.

I can’t resist you.

I let you carry me
from bar to bar,
friend to friend,
until I don’t know how
I ended up where I am.

Your thread,
your imperfect love
pulls me ahead.

Saxophones and quarrels
share the same air,
the smell of hotdogs, fudge,
cologne wafting
from crewcuts,

while boots and boats beat
against your deck.

The river funk seeps in,
the people in the alleys
are scared…

fists fly, blue lights pass by
but I always come back.

(I had talked a little about my affair with Wilmington in a previous post regarding my nostalgia over shared experiences with a friend I met there, and her talent as a painter that has reached way beyond the smallish North Carolina town we both loved. I think that’s her in the picture here, too.)

A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

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