Right Now

you're out in a village in the Berkshires
and your waiter is serving your steak.
You're on your third Sombrero and
one of the engineers is telling a joke.

I'm home with the TV news on so everythin
will seem normal. I've invited Marcie over for a beer.
It already seems odd to have done it.

Now you're cutting the steak. It is thick and rare
and the boss is paying for it. You laugh.
This is the life! You're glad you smoked that joint.
You see two lovers in the corner
and try not to miss me and spoil it.

I drink Lites with Marcie; we talk about teaching.
She says how nice I'm still with my lover.
She goes home and I spread the newspaper out
on your side of the bed and drink cold tea.

You're going into the lounge for a brandy
with the detail man. The guys make jokes
about the location of your room.
I lay two pillows alongside me in bed.

:: Jane Barnes, Extremes (Blue Giant Press, 1981)

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