We’ll Always Have Def Leppard

by Ryan Clark


I sit at the table, staring into

the concave reflection of a spoon

to see if I have anything stuck

in my teeth.


I can’t really tell.


I stop thinking about it

when you walk through the door,

that slinky black dress holding tight

to every one of your curves.


You give a shy smile,

my heart gives a flutter.


I pull your chair for you

and quickly, we dive for cover

behind large menus.


What’ll you have? I ask

and you respond with an

Everything looks so good.


We order something, but I can’t stop

watching your hands, long and

slender, classy – like Jackie O hands.

You butter your bread.


You smile and the world stops.

Could it be – maybe? – the best

first date ever?


Your eyes wander, so I attempt

conversation. What classes

are you taking?


You shift in your seat and answer

quietly, something about chemistry

and art. Ah, art, I say, hoping to impress


you with my knowledge. I speak of

Albrecht Durer and praying hands and

signing with an A and a D.


You say you learned all that from

The Da Vinci Code sequel.


I think you’re joking. You’re not.


Dan Brown is a favorite author of yours,

second only to Nicholas Sparks.

I cough, choking on my salad.

I hate Dan Brown.

I hate Nicholas Sparks.


How about Hemingway? I say.

Too boring.



Too confusing.


I sigh. It goes this way with every topic.


Travel: I go anywhere,

you’re a homebody.


Hobbies: I hunt and fish,

you’re a member of PETA.

Sports: I play softball.

You play Scrabble, and you tell me

it’s a sport – for the mind.


We make our way to music,

and –Eureka! – we have a connection.


We both love Def Leppard.


Whether it’s the one-armed drummer

or the true meaning of the lyrics

to “Pour Some Sugar On Me,”

we make it through dinner with

this one thing in common:




the Def.


And, as it turns out,

that is enough to get by.


After dinner I walk you

to your door, and I lean in

for a kiss. So what if we have

nothing in common?

Your hair smells like coconut.

You are still wearing that dress.


I still want to be invited in.


Out of the corner of my eye

you smile, and offer one of those

beautiful hands. You ask

if I’d like to come up for a while.


Why yes, yes I would.


Who cares if you’re PETA

and I’m the NRA?


I know one thing:

When the morning comes,

and I search for something to say,

no matter what,

we’ll always have Def Leppard.