“A Woman like That with Problems like Those” by Lisa Glatt

Lisa Glatt


Last night on the beach I rattled around
with a man I’d never see again.
He was younger than me,
sort of stupid, I think, though I was drunk
and high and grieving
so I can’t be sure of anything.
We rattled around, like I said,
in the sand, and it was hard to walk,
and it was hard to see, and he was hard,
my hand making its clumsy ride into his boxers,
and he was saying something cliché
about the moon, three stars, hoping that a woman
like me, a woman drunk at 3 a.m. with a stranger
on a beach, a woman whose ailing mother slept
within earshot, a 30-year-old woman like that
with problems like those, with so much obvious
desire and sorrow, would respond to the moon,
to those three stars, to him, to the bottle
of brown booze he had snuggled
in his backpack. After playing around,
I stopped him—some might call it teasing,
others insight, but it hit me like a diagnosis,
what I was doing, where I had been,
and I jumped from the sand, and left him there,
with his Levis half on and half off, his confusion,
maybe anger, left him with the moon,
with only my body’s imprint in the sand,
with his hard penis like a finger
pointing at my back.

from Rattle #7, Summer 1997

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