Greased Lightning

Lori Widmer_poetry

Greased Lightning

It’s like old times

the way we are laughing in

this dive bar, the smell of

stale fry oil soaked into

the wooden tables our

elbows stick to.


My friend is telling us about

the day the upper-class boy

popped her cherry—


only the details now are hilarious

and not heart-racing like

it was then, but the

way we are laughing, it’s


as though the decades hadn’t gone

anywhere and we were

those nubile, smooth-limbed does

burning simultaneously with

embarrassment and promise


when the world was at our

feet and we were too unsure of

how to tread—


The papers that year marveled at

balloon angioplasty and test tube

babies and the first successful

transatlantic balloon flight


and Jim Jones would change the way

we look at Kool-Aid forever—


but we were inventing our own vocabulary,

racy admissions whispered behind

hands, our heartbeats and the

ache between our legs matched the


hard rock thrums vibrating from the

muscle cars driven by boys with wild

hair and no inhibitions—


they’d drive by slowly, trying

out their best Kenickie come-ons,

we’d respond with Rizzo taunts

then turn away and lock arms, laughing


just as we are now, drunk on

the reflection we see

every time we close our eyes.

Lori Widmer is a full-time freelance writer and editor who writes for businesses and trade publications. She was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in various publications, including TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Philadelphia Stories.