Rumit Pancholi


It was no divine noise, their chirpy hee-hawing that turned
my ear to the hotel wall. No, nothing dramatic or rare –
just the way any couple, halfway in love, halfway
undressed, would have sex in of all places a hotel room.

There was no romantic foreplay, if ever there was,
no tickling of heels, no feature-length striptease, nothing
to occupy an insomniac or nymphomaniac, not even
your average, or smaller-than-average, peeping tom.

From a baseball game or wrestling match, their drawn-out
groans and cheers were just the same. I imagined them
on magazines, on cereal boxes, on primetime news,
but never if they were tall or hygenic, flawed or sharp.

He had changed the safety word, she forgot all together.
Fumbling with my button fly, I missed some of it –
who lost the car keys, who was always late, whose mother
was a slut, whose spouse would foot the hotel charges.

For the art of histrionics, for experience to take home,
the stories change – she changed the safety word,
he lost the keys, her mother was a slut – but four o’clock
was four o’clock, to me – that part would stay here.

Rumit Pancholi recently completed his MFA in Creative Writing at Notre Dame. His most recent poetry publications are in Iron Horse Literary Review, Gulf Stream, and Folio Magazine. He was also recently finalist for Black Warrior Review's 3rd Annual Poetry Contest.

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