What I Want for Christmas by Luke Stromberg

What I Want for Christmas

One of those women who jump out of cakes.

She would be scandalously young, preferably—
twenty-one or twenty-two—
And—what the hell—let’s make her a blond,
one that looks good
in a white bikini bottom
and has a flat tummy.
That’d work.

Nah. Not really.

I wouldn’t know what to do with her.
We’d probably end up friends.
She would look up to me.
Later, she’d introduce me to her boyfriend, Kyle.
He’d be a guy in a sleeveless t-shirt
who likes to call me ‘Bro.’
Most likely he’d look up to me, too.

How about a swordfish, then,
or one of those big, goofy moose heads
to mount on the wall above my fireplace?
But I actually don’t have a fireplace—
so one of those, too.
And some logs to burn in my fireplace.
And a velvet jacket and a mug of grog.
And a high-backed leather chair to drink my grog in.

A Model-T Ford.
A scarf, a pair of gloves, some goggles.
A submarine.
A fleet of bicyclists.
A typewriter
possessed by the soul of an alcoholic playwright.

Or someone I could talk to.
(The nights are long and dark this time of year.)

Someone who makes me laugh, who finds
something debonair about a man in glasses.
She could have red hair and smooth skin, too,
the whitest teeth,
a way of sighing to herself
she probably doesn’t even know about.

There’s a good movie playing downtown.
Maybe she’d like to go.


Luke Stromberg’s debut poetry collection, The Elephant’s Mouth, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. His poetry and criticism have appeared in Smartish Pace, The Hopkins Review, The New Criterion, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Golidad Review, Think Journal, The Raintown Review, The Dark Horse, Cassandra Voices, and several other venues. He also serves as the Associate Poetry Editor of E-Verse Radio. Luke works as an adjunct professor at Eastern University and La Salle University and lives in Upper Darby, PA.

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