I’d Rather Be

The small blue Nissan ahead of 
Me at the stoplight has a plastic 
License plate holder that says I’D 
RATHER BE AT A RICK SPRINGFIELD 

CONCERT, and, buddy, wouldn’t we 
All rather be catching a tan
In the summertime lawn seats at 
Some amphitheater off the 

Highway, wearing sunglasses to 
Protect our eyes from the sun and 
The gleam of Rick’s professional
Teeth, watching his wavy dyed brown

Septuagenarian goatee
Frame his mouth as it sings “Jessie’s 
Girl” with his mind on autopilot, 
Wondering what he’ll have for dinner 

Later as he croons Where can I 
Find a woman like that? for the 
100,000th time as we 
Dream of this life we’re in for the 

100,000th time instead 
Of cubicles and gray, the beige 
Hallways we walk for decades before 
Demise? We dream, relaxed in the 

Warm air we ignore for another 
Decade as some gulls try to steal 
Fries from a couple who are busy 
Groping their fiftysomething bodies, 

Their bodies here still, soft & alive,
Sagging in the lawn but fifteen 
Again and lost in their friend’s basement 
Again making out on the bean bag 

In the corner, frantic in hazy 
Afterschool limbo before 
The friend’s parents get home from work.
They knock over what’s left of a 

Margarita in a can. It 
Trickles green through the grass as Rick’s 
Band cuts straight to the opening 
Riff for “Love Somebody.” The drummer 

Pounds the toms, the thuds summoning 
1984 as the guitar 
Chimes and harmonies swoop in and 
Swallow the heating air. You better 

Love somebody / it’s late, the frogs
Evaporating in the wetlands 
By the offramp. 

Mitchell Nobis is a writer and K-12 teacher in Metro Detroit. His poetry has appeared in Hobart, Nurture Literary, The Night Heron Barks, and other great lit mags. He facilitates Teachers as Poets for the National Writing Project and hosts the Wednesday Night Sessions reading series. Find him at @MitchNobis or mitchnobis.com.