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Clinches in the storeroombetween fifty pound bags of flour,barrels of oil and lard;

latching onto her beside the pool table,her hands are chalked blue.

I followed her into the ladies' roomand mauled her by the sink

among the lipsticked tissueand snarls of hair,

a matchbook with raised letters --Where the Elite Meet to Eat --

all but two matches torn out.

I took the cue to bite her neck.

She wore a lot of scarves back then,turtlenecks, Elastoplast.

The Count, she called me.Her husband was That Fatso.

It was weeks before she said yes.

I took her to the bird sanctuary and pressed her hand against my fly. I'm going crazy, I said.

She kept tossing breadcrumbs, her face bright red.

This duck waddled over and bit her from behind.

She cried and jumped up, lifted her skirt.

The bill had left a green mark, some scarlet spreading where I planted my mouth.

Two teenage boys said Get a room --

The geese moved in formation, heading south.


I reserved a room at the Mancanza;registered us as Mr. and Mrs. Hart.

I arrived early and lowered the blinds,washed up with a pink seashell.

She was a little unsteady, walking in.I went to hug her and she shrugged me off,

flicked her fingers at the satinlampshade and bedspread.

The Mancanza, she said, her lip curled.

She slid down the wall and closed her eyes:I've never done this before.

Someone in the next room was yelling,You always get the good underwear!

The room shook when traffic passed.I righted the picture above the bed, and drew her beside me.

Two black pintos, rearing against an orange sky.

© Crosbie Lynn