AT THE CHELSEA
There is this ugly, little blind woman
who is terrified
of riding in the elevator with anyone else. If she
enters and anyone joins her
she will quickly leave again. Tonight,
when I am hurting for Valium and not very
loving toward anyone,
she steps out as I step in and I leap right out
behind her. As I pretend to meander away nonchalantly,
she gets back in again. Waiting till the last moment,
I lunge inside as the doors are starting to close.
she says, scrooching way over
to the opposite wall.
Boo, I say. She sticks out her tongue.
That does it. As we reach
her floor, I lock the doors open,
barring her way.
She swings her cane, trying to hit me. I grab it and throw it out
in the corridor, pressing her against the wall.
For a moment neither of us moves.
Then she puts her open palms up to my face as if to read
the expression there.
I knew you'd be back, she moans, I knew it. You're the filthiest man
I've ever known.
Hell's Half Acre, North Carolina
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