Sunday, March 15, 2009

The spinster

There’s no way
she hasn’t heard us.

Maybe it was just the chime of our roomkey
last night, or the sound of your blowdryer
this morning, like the whine of distant construction equipment.

Or maybe around midnight we sounded like
two tv characters turned up loud
and she debated calling the front desk.

But then there could be no doubt,
we barked like seals beneath the pier,
we gibbered in that rarest language
of seraphim, and then even
the bedsprings were crying yes yes yes.

Maybe she cinched up her robe and turned on
the radio. She slotted the doorchain and thought
she was alone for yet another night.
She was wrong.

I’ve never quite checked out of that same room.

For so many nights, I thought, too, that the closest
I’d come to this
was thumping my fist on the wall next door
with my face pressed to the flocked wallpaper.

Mark Aiello