The Arc in Twenty Steps

  1.     He remarks upon your visage. The word “gorgeous” is used.
  2.     At least twice.
  3.     The dinner, the glass of wine.
  4.     Dinner II. You pay; he whinges
        on about the drive.
        Gently at first,
  5.     the gushing texts. Requests to chat as if possessed.
  6.     A love weekend! (He suggests.)
        I’ve got a Groupon for the champagne bath.
  7.     Too soon? (You protest.) Instead
        a wildflower park? Let’s.
  8.     Insects; possibly contagious plants;
        unmarked trails; significant
        heat index.
  9.     The dogs. His ninety-five pound,
        pointy-toed, silly-eyed snuffling hounds.
  10.     (Yours is a feline lap.)
  11.     Tender scene: no, not all that.
        What back alley has your mind passed?
  12.     But ignored all that night,
        after you’d left.
  13.     A poor night’s sleep,
        as if shambling souls
        lurch by the sash.
  14.     And you beg for the next day’s news:
        We’re not compatible; I tried, he says.
  15.     As if it were an arranged match
        and not something hatched
        in his head.
  16.     In so many words: Ouch.
        You callous [partially censored text].
  17.     His arch retort not worth the ink.
  18.     Rinse.
  19.      …repeat?
  20.     Next.
Rosemarie Koch

If you have any comments on this poem, Rosemarie Koch would be pleased to hear from you.