Drive-In 34    
    
He called it rattlesnake weather,    
When the heat hung thick as smoke    
Hazing up the car windshields,    
The girls gathered in the bathroom,    
Adjusting smeared makeup    
And too tight bra straps    
While the guys went head first    
In half melted beer coolers    
Like bobbing for apples    
So that before the end of the night,    
There would surely be a fight    
Or a misdemeanor assault    
Over not enough or too much    
Salt on the popcorn,    
And somebody's barefoot sweaty kids    
With cherry smash lips would get    
Lost from their car or more likely    
Intentionally left behind    
Like circus orphans in the swelter.    
    
    
    
    
    
Drive-In 29    
    
The boys wheeled over from the red dirt road    
A quarter mile below the theater screen,    
In a crazy line of cheap K-Mart bikes,    
Tricked out with raised handle bars,    
Hard, narrow banana seats,    
Topps baseball cards clothes pinned    
And fluttering to the rhythm of spokes,    
Reggie Jackson and Johnny Bench    
Slapped over and over like when    
Somebody's step-daddy got into    
The wicked apple brandy and    
Armed himself with a belt or the    
Space heater's broken cord,    
The veins at his throat bulging—    
The intruders slipped along    
The edge of the drive, dodging    
The spike strip by the ticket booth,    
Then charged down the gravel gut    
Of the parking lot, gaining a little    
More freedom with each hump    
They jumped, gliding like eagles or astronauts—    
Then leaving just as quickly by a trail    
Through the thicket of pines    
Past the grown over bank of Murder Creek.    
    
    
    
    
    
Drive-In 32    
    
I can't believe he took me to a drive-in,    
You know, like everybody knows what    
Goes on at those places, but I went along    
Because all my girlfriends said he looks good    
In those dark t shirts with the one pocket    
You know the kind, and the jeans    
With patches up and down, the hush puppies,    
And he is a smooth looking boy, even    
With the splotchy beard that he    
Can only half grow, so don't you try    
Anything was the first thing I said    
After he pulled the front of the car    
Up the hump beside the speaker pole.    
Now why would I try anything he says    
As he slipped his arm around    
Behind me and rested it there    
So I could feel the muscles in it    
Hard and pleasant and I wanted    
Him to keep it there, but I thought    
About telling him to move it before    
He tried something else. Don't nobody    
Go to drive-in's no more, I said,    
And I popped my gum for emphasis,    
Why I heard this place gonna    
Close down soon, I said, and I felt    
His fingers running strong just under    
The edge of my sleeve, and he smiled    
At me, just as close as this, and I could    
See how bright and nearly perfect    
His face was even as the darkness grew.    
    
    
    
    
    
Drive-In 71    
    
They left The Establishment    
Where they had drunk two pitchers,    
Without paying their bill, and    
The drive-in seemed a safe place    
To ride out the acid trip.    
But the movie playing was    
Creature from the Black Lagoon,    
And the ticket booth girl     
Whose face melted to bluish    
Tints, handed them glasses with    
A green and a red lens which    
They found inexplicably    
Hilarious, and they laughed    
Till they realized the screen    
Looked the same with or without    
Them, the creature about to    
Enter their car, and then in    
A sudden epiphany    
They remembered the bar bill    
And saw the cop and soon they    
Were hurtling toward home at    
Twenty-five miles per hour.    
    
    
    
    
    
Drive-In 73     
    
He said They Shoot Horses, Don't They    
Was the worst movie he'd ever seen,    
Talk, talk, talk, dance, dance, dance,    
Worrying about some damn broken-    
Legged horse from your wussy childhood.    
She liked it-- the malcontent female, her    
Psychologically damaged substitute partner—    
But agreed with him to avoid a fight    
And didn't complain when they left early,    
Their pickup spattering loose gravel    
Against the fence at the back of the lot.    
She didn't tell him to take it easy    
Or to explain himself because he was not    
One to share his feelings easily    
And she was not brave enough    
Or crucified enough to do anything    
About it, yet.    
    
    
     © Tim Peeler 2011