As we creaked across the shaky dock,
I pondered whether the fish under our feet were carnivorous.
Dangerous or no, I was sure, at least
Of their oblivion to general decay.
And like the fish, we wandered among the three-walled palafittes
Battered beyond seaworthiness,
Hawking renditions of “passing time”
Until suddenly we found ourselves
In some stranger’s filthy bedroom,
Uncertain in our intimacy,
Man in armchair, staring without seeing
And lover-maybe-whore, sitting on the bed
Adjusting her wig,
Blankly, In post-coital apathy.
Was there something we wanted?
They said, or didn’t say, I don’t remember.
Chastened by indignity,
I step outside
Where you’ve emerged with a headset,
For ear protection, of course,
Though the thrill of shooting with you is lost:
My wallet is not in my pocket.
I flush, you offer to pay.
Remorse turns to shame,
Turns to protest,
But you insist it’s all right, and I give in…
What happens next , surprises us both.
I slide my arms around you,
First in thanks, but really
Just because I want to feel us,
And remark on the genuineness of your embrace
Our whole bodies touching
For the first time. Emboldened by warm proximity,
I kiss your neck.
But you hate those kinds of kisses,
You tell me (though you aren’t exactly letting go)
So I venture: “What kind do you like?”
And like the man you are, you quip:
“You’ll just have to figure that out for yourself..”
Leaving me undecided
Between “invitation” and “wishful thinking.”