“Edifying Just to See” by Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble


When his dick finally
felt right again,
and he could pee
without it burning,
he went right back out
into the special places
where the women lived
and were waiting.

Some pulled their dresses
down, like they were ready
to have his dick
go between their tits
like right
now, and some of them
seemed to want a beer first.

The magic of women
just trying to get
something right.

They’ve usually been taught
that getting a man to come
is the easiest thing—
working a crude tool.

A good thing to do, therefore,
when everything else
that day has proved too challenging.
The man takes one woman
to a hotel bathroom.
The hotel is the nicest hotel
in all of Houston.
To get to the private bathroom,
they must walk through what was once
a ballroom, all its gold and domes
retained. The woman thinks it’s edifying
just to see this kind of place.
The music playing
in the private bathroom
while the man hands her a stack
of paper towels
to wipe off her chest
is more electronic and sexual
than she might have expected
based on the traditional feel
of the ballroom.

The man feels it’s best
not to hold the woman’s hand
as they leave the hotel, because that
could indicate a tenderness he thinks
it best not to offer. At a bakery
nearby they stop so she can eat
a macaroon, and they get into
a friendly argument about art
that leaves them both
feeling happy.

from Rattle #46, Winter 2014


Hannah Gamble: “I started writing poetry when I was living in Bloomington, Indiana, working as a bank teller and hating my life. I joined a community women’s writing group for some kind of creative outlet, and, after about a month, got bored with the little memoirish essays I was writing. Within a month of writing the first poem I’d written in five years (I’d taken a poetry class as a college freshman) I decided to apply to MFA programs. I did it. I got into the University of Houston, and now, in addition to other things (singer, teacher, art model, friend, sibling, daughter), I am a writer.” (web)

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