We rarely talk, except through blue jeaned

knees beneath a diner counter.

On Saturdays at Wash and Fold we drop

the family clothes, then drive in separate cars


to the motel room on 202. We stand

between the yellow spreads of noon twin beds.  

Greasy headboards bare brass screwed

into a wall where the prints of strangers shine.


The fisheye lens of a metal door is peephole empty

sunlit view.  The parking lot breaks in the jalousie

windows above a beige-chipped air conditioner whine.

A noise to drown the moans of Pay Per View.


Cracks in mirror split merry-go-round

motion as cool hands hold your hips.

One more spin to fill our mouths

with another tongue.


You pull up pants. Rings and keys

drop in a telltale pocket.  I clip ID to my belt,

glance back toward two beds – one tightly tucked,

the other a pot of sheets boiled over.




First publication: The Pickled Body, 2016