By: Joan E. Cashin
Love on the Road, or What I Did Not Want to Overhear
A marriage proposal at the Hilton Hotel
as I ate a salad at the next table in the restaurant:
she said no.
A screaming match at the Courtyard Inn
as I tried to watch television in my room upstairs:
he won, by sheer force of repetition.
Wild sex at midnight at the Marriott
as I tried to sleep next door so I could catch an early flight:
at least women and men can still do that well.
Daylight Savings Time
Oh the luxury of it, an extra hour
stretching in front of me like the continental plain.
I’ll do this and this and this, more of this,
and then this.
I shall gallop across the terrain until bang!
I hit my head on my own sloth.
We like numbers, and some of them like us:
the even numbers, so flexible, cooperate
and divide when we ask;
the odd numbers, proud, too haughty
to do our bidding;
lucky seven, so beloved;
and lordly pi, in the crowd but not of it,
above it all.
We heard voices grating like metal
up and down the night,
like an old car scraping
the side of the garage.
Then we realized, oh, it is only geese
flying too close to the house.
love that never goes anywhere
that has no purpose, no adventure,
no desire to see what’s over that hill.
love that dies early but goes on and on,
and on. Dull habit in the afterlife
where all is supposed to be made new.
the old cliche about sucking the blood
from a woman’s heart, but the only way to describe
the emptying out and the sense of being changed
into a post-human creature
that only comes out at night.
Joan E. Cashin writes from the US, and she has published in various literary journals.