The Love Boat

The Love Boat

You’ve jetted in from Fantasy Island and you’re thinking
Puerto Vallarta again? Julie directs you to your cabin
on the Aloha deck, then does a quick line
on her clipboard. You wonder whether this time
your storyline will be comedy, romantic comedy, or drama.
You wander the corridors where the other passengers
are already fucking behind their cabin doors when you run
into Captain Stubing, who quit his job as a news writer
to follow this dream. You get to your cabin
and are surprised to find David Cassidy standing there
in a towel. You say there must be some mistake
and he says hi roomie! so you decide to just
go with it. You become best friends. The ship’s horn
blows and you follow Charo as she cuchi cuchi’s up
to the deck. Confetti explodes. Goodbye Jo Anne Worley!
Goodbye Barbi Benton and Adrienne Barbeau!
Suzanne Somers and Elke Sommer sulk on shore
but what can you do? There’s only so much room
on this ship. You and David down some shots then decide
to grab a bite. At the next table Scott Baio is trying to flirt
with Kristy McNichol by doing The Claw. He’s such
a goof! Scott, you’re barking up the wrong tree!
Meredith Baxter can’t decide whether to keep
the Birney, date Bill Bixby or become a lesbian.
Meanwhile, you can’t deny it, you’re developing feelings
for David. He sheepishly agrees to take the stage
and perform I Think I Love You, but why is he singing
to Florence Henderson and not to you? First of all,
David, she’s too old for you. Second of all…Wait,
is that Eva and Zsa Zsa Gabor behind the bar
having a three-way with the ship’s doctor? You feel
dizzy. Luckily, Dr. Joyce Brothers is on hand
to offer you learned and practical advice, as always.

Bill Hollands’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as The Greensboro ReviewThe Adroit Journal, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, DIAGRAM, North American Review, Gigantic SequinsBirmingham Poetry Review, and Boulevard. He was recently named a finalist for New Ohio Review’s NORward Prize and Smartish Pace’s Erskine J. Poetry Prize. He lives in Seattle with his husband and their son. 

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“The Love Boat” was previously published in Sepia.

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