He will soon forget the girl
who rests in his guesthouse.
He does not care if she is pretty,
where she is from. No need
for her name. It is enough
she stays the night, this friend
of a friend. And when he first
enters her bed, lifts blankets,
her gown, he notes how she
startles more than scares.
Her body is no place special,
thighs spread before him like
public gardens, Copley Square,
statues he passes every day.
She, too, forgets the details
in travels beyond the mattress,
beyond unknown fingers inside her.
Her images of the man flickering,
over-exposed. She wishes for stops
softer than unattended sobs, less
intrusive than stars if there were any.
His only words enjoying Boston?
guideposts to sheets and pillows
cobbling like worn city streets.
In the dark, the air is old. She tastes
after-shave, breathes a brackish
harbor when she re-visits his bed.
—from Rattle #23, Summer 2005