by dave


On my way out the door I turned to see
look back and see if she was still sitting there.
She was, but she had silently
returned to doing the Sunday morning crossword,
putting rollers in her hair, blow-drying it straight
sitting there in her bathrobe.
She looked up into my eyes
and simply said
"I thought you had already left."
I averted my gaze to avoid being caught
But I already was
and I did it again.


I am sitting alone now, in the bay window at the cafe.
I am staring out at the most beautiful recreational vehicle I have ever seen.
A young woman opens the passenger side door
and steps inside; she reclines the seat and naps.
A police officer tucks a parking ticket under the wiper.  She naps.
There is no one to drive    
the most beautiful recreational vehicle I have ever seen
until Keith appears from a door
across the street--
yawns, stretches and pulls his baseball cap
down low over his eyes, takes the ticket
and drives away.

A bloodied, boiled head
appears as a vision from
the clouds it descends
and asks me for a cigarette
which I, in utter disbelief
politely decline without explanation.
The bloodied, boiled head
disappears down the street whistling
looking for a smoke.
I sip my coffee.
I smoke a cigarette.
I think about the stars.

I opened the screened door
and without looking up she asks me
for a six-letter word that means "terror"
I offer her the thesaurus from my back pocket.
She looks up
a six-letter word for "terror."
She fills in the boxes.
I pour myself another cup of coffee
and sit down at the table to watch her finish
the crossword.
She finishes quickly, missing only one word.