She’s wanting me to know how her twin stepsons,
after losing a Little League double-header,
took baseball bats and busted all
the reflectors in every grain truck
parked in the lot along the tracks
near the Farm Supply at the edge of town.
Who’d do a thing like that?
I’m waiting for a burger, sweet potato fries,
and martini take-out, minding my own
share of confusion on the sticky vinyl
corner booth of the hotel restaurant lounge.
And she’s resolved to slide in beside a stranger,
because I look receptive, I guess, and maybe
I can help her figure why her husband
took a separate bedroom in their own home.
I don’t know if he’s gay or been abused
as a kid, or what, she confesses
as if she’s telling a clerk her shoe size.
He hasn’t touched me in years. I’m worried
what sort of answers she’s got me tagged for,
as she leaves the restaurant trailing me, offering
to carry my martini, sipping it like she owns it
all the way to the elevator. What’s your husband
say about it? I ask. Which rends the moment
with margin for her to reach out and dandle
the side of my head. Guys from the wheat fields
don’t talk, she shrugs. Adds, What floor? —
as she gulps the rest of my martini,
allowing her a free hand on me, climbing
as the car climbs up and up and up
into some audacious notion she’s welcome in my room.
Who’d do a thing like that? I’m pissed
about my lost martini, panicked I won’t
muster balls enough to ditch this middle-aged
farm mama coming at me like a grain truck.
Also wishing I had a baseball bat
and if she had reflectors, I’d smash ‘em.