Published in The Blue Nib Literary Magazine
She bumped into me
with her slurry words
and clicky stilettos
while she explained with high pitched
detail how she lost her purse
somewhere in Montreal but she didn't know where.
I shared my eyeliner with her
and partook in overly friendly chatter
and prolonged hand washing.
As I untangled myself
she tripped, grabbed at my elbow,
and a stall door
which slipped helplessly from her grip
banging horribly in the
half done emptiness.
As if she always landed on bathroom floors
she quipped, “Actually I need to know the
tall man you were talking with.
I always see him at these law thingys.
I’m partial to him.”
This she said as if she were comparison shopping
for jeans and a cute T shirt
to go with her strappies.
When I reached to help her up
her hand slathered around in mine
all sweaty and clammy
and the moment was filled with wishes
for witty retorts and smart ass replies
for this tampered with woman.
I wish I had said
I know him from Middle Path
and the Milky Way at Oak Grove Cemetery.
I know him from the smell of the storm
that blew through on July 15, 1995,
from the making of two.
I know him from his hand gently
unfurrowing my pained brow in
I know him from the octopus incident,
from the abducted fire bellied toad,
from the fallen down tree.
I know him from the lapping of Erie
under the Dipper, from the unfinished,
from forced admissions, from obvious mistakes.
I know him from permanent scars,
from red hot meteors, from shifting theories,
from drops of truth and old failures.
But instead in my shock all I managed was
“That man is my husband. And I wrecked a
boat with him.”
I released her wet hand leaving her on the
tile floor of a bathroom in the Westin
while I wondered how she came to be unfinished
and under the influence of the notion
that one can obtain a person
and consume him.