Litlets

April 10, 2010

National Poetry Month 2010, Day 9

I haven’t written today’s poem yet, but here’s yesterday’s.

Scubby Malone and the Shady Client

I was sitting in my office pouring new sawdust
into my heart when she walked in. Her legs
had carried her places nice people don’t go,
you could tell that. She had a worn-down beauty
mostly hidden under the grime of years, like
a Byzantine coin from the era of Basil the First.
I hear you solve mysteries, she said. Can you tell
me who I am? Amnesia, I asked, or existential dementia?
I haven’t forgotten, she said, but you have. We were married once
or twice, back when your shirts and laughter were loud,
and you didn’t care how bad you sang. Twelve is awful young
to be sentenced to wedlock, I said. Drop the wisecracks,
she said. What happened to us? I’ll look into it, I said. Two hundred
a day, first week up front. Where do you want me to start?
She dropped a wad of new bills on my desk, said
I want you to dance.

— Carl Bettis, 4/9/2010

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