Love and Less
Somewhere between Rolling Rocks
and morning light,
between neck and collar bone,
piecemeal tokens of
flowering purple affection,
touched lightly with a morning buzz
and your limp arm over
my wrinkled consciousness.
Somewhere between Sunday morning
and sausage biscuits,
the cashier at Hardee's
with a careful glance,
feigning apathetic eyes
over the rim of her thick glasses,
hands us our tray,
gives away what she really thinks
of missing buttons
and my lipstick collar,
of that glaucous night before.
We sit, wondering and knowing
in a window booth,
silently chewing the sobering direction.
with each church-bell chime
from First Baptist down the street,
like a grandfather clock,
and our seconds together compete
against throbbing temples and
an almost soothing indifference,
telling us our time has been eaten
to tabletop crumbs.
I left you my phone number
and you left me no choice
but to leave you, back turned,
at the steps to your apartment.
Neither one of us knew
where it would go, or end,
from free beer and an invitation.
After a week of turning away,
my memories turn a lighter hue
in compliment with the
blood-shade bruises in the mirror.
You fade to pallid skin in my mind.
in The Broad River Review 35 (Spring 2003) 30.