The drinks came
And I asked the predictable question.

“I kind of like it,” she said
“It keeps me fit
And the money’s not bad.”

She blew smoke thoughtfully
And fidgeted with an ashtray.

“My twin sister has baby girls
And I watch them during the day,
God I love those girls—
I think of them as mine,
I’m with them more than she is.”

I thought her drink
Was going down a little fast.

“My schedule’s real flexible.
Sometimes when my sister’s off
We get a sitter and go shopping
…Go to the beach.”

“She’s so sweet:
We’ve never had a fight,
Not even growing up.”

She signaled for another drink.
I wondered if she gets a cut.

“I’m saving.
We’re going to open a hair salon
When the girls are a little older.
She works at one now,
And I got my license.”

“Oh, hey, I’m on.
Nice talking to you.”

She levered off the stool
With a hand on my thigh
And one on my shoulder.

Her smell of perfume,
Tobacco smoke, sweat,
Hair spray and alcohol
Saturated me,
Took a grip that nothing,
Not five years,
Not my marriage and baby,
Has ever loosened.



MAY 2017