20 January 2023

Tinder Date, Part 1

Just let me grab my keys
and I'll be on my way.

When I arrive,
I'll just use my reflection
in the storefront window
to make sure I look human enough:
pressed slacks;
inherited loafers;
compression garments
underneath the fanfare--
the overt performance and
exaggerated presentation, i.e.
Urban Decay on my teeth.
I'll shove my keys into my pocket,
look for you in a crowded room.
Maybe you'll flag me down.
Maybe your cool, sweaty palm
will meet mine in an awkward shake,
like we are striking an unspoken deal:
I'll promise to be polite,
if you promise not to kill me.

Note: Inspired by a friend's true story, recounted and embellished with her permission.

18 January 2023

Tinder Date, Part 2

Teeth are a good place to salvage DNA, you said, a bit casually.
I did not know at the time if I should have come up with an excuse
to leave the date early, or if I should have kept listening.

Maybe I should have taken notes while listening
to those true crime podcasts, interviews with seasoned investigators,
throats pitted and scarred from cigarettes and coffee acid.

Maybe I should have stayed up late with Grandma,
process, in earnest, Detective Hercule Poirot’s observations--
each carefully-coated in Murray's Superior mustache wax--
even if his silver-screen depiction was missing the gravitas to keep me awake.

You noticed that I was suddenly quiet. You stirred the soup in front of you.
Speaking of teeth, yours are very nice, very straight, you stated,
because you were hoping to break the silence, fill it with your voice, again.

I excused myself from the table.

I think that bistro is closed now. It’s too bad. They had excellent bread.

Note: Inspired by a friend's true story, recounted and embellished with her permission.

06 January 2023

Disassociation, 1936

He broke open
her mouth,
burgled the secrets inside
that were hidden behind
little teeth. "There you are,"
he said, triumphantly,
but she was actually
nowhere. She was gone,
far away from there,
with eyes
scanning across
so many scattered
flurries, ash
in the sky.