Nathan Graziano

Patrick Swayze and Me

Young and in love, we spooned in the late-afternoon,
our limbs tangled on the couch in her mother’s house.

Constellations of acne peppered my face, my sweat
from wrestling practice soaking my Guns N’ Roses t-shirt,

and as my hands inch-wormed toward her breasts
she insisted we play Dirty Dancing on the VCR

so she could watch a lithe, shirtless Patrick Swayze
ooze sex and sway his hulky hips to 50s tunes.

My girlfriend cooed when I blew into her ear
but it took me years to realize the sweaty hands

moving across her flesh weren’t mine. Her blue eyes
never moved from the screen as she fantasized

that she was running down an aisle and leaping
into Patrick Swayze’s strong hands as he held her

high above his head, sturdy for the world to see,
her back arched and arms spread wide like an angel.


Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife. A high school teacher, he is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction and writes a column for Manchester Ink Link titled Not That Profound. A new collection of poetry, Born on Good Friday will be published in 2023. For more information, visit his website: