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It was a cold night, we huddled in your yard;
you’d come to walk me out, we didn’t get that far.
You lamented the sad state of the garden
you’d been meaning to re-seed since god knows when.
And as you pondered all the work you’d have to do,
well, right then I just had to plant one right on you.
But since you asked what I was thinking,
I hope you’ve grasped at least an inkling.

Either kick me out, or kiss me back,
but please don’t talk. We’re way past that.
Just let me know, without a word, whether I’ll
fall asleep wanting you, or get no sleep at all.

I arrived to pick you up at eight;
per your request, we don’t call it a date.
Matter fact, we’ve been not dating for six months,
just screenings for our private art film club.
With dinner first, and drinking after it,
and during, sharing the same small blanket.
Your sofa, Susie, it ain’t no IMAX.
As for the movie: at least it had a climax.

Either kick me out, or kiss me back,
but don’t try to talk. I can’t abide that.
‘Cause by now you know the only reason that I’m not
balls deep in love with you is that isn’t what you want.

I know I said I would let it go, but
I haven’t yet, and you know what? So what?
You have a choice, and I’m still waiting.
So kill that noise, and start deliberating.

I shouldn’t go, way I’ve been drinking;
if you must know, no, I wasn’t really thinking.

Either kick me out, or kiss me back.
Those are your options, and that’s a natural fact.
But first you should know that your flowers have all died.
Forget the garden, Sue. You can’t bring them inside.

But you can kick me out, or you can kiss me back.
Either way I’ll know if you don’t like me like that.
But one way you’ll know which way you like me most:
all in a heap under you, or over you, or both.


from The Once & Future Boyfriend, released September 1, 2010




Amina Shareef Ali Oakland, California

Based in Oakland, California, Amina Shareef Ali performs songs of love and struggle, of pain and wonder, of loss and redemption. Lyrics by turns poignant and sardonic are set against a backdrop of American music both traditional and modern, from folk to punk to country to jazz to rock and roll. ... more

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