My Seventh Slice

November 3, 2008
By Jeremiah Magpile, South Plainfield, NJ

I sat on a leather couch nibbling

on my third--no fourth--slice of
while glancing at the stranger-girl
sipping her cherry coke,
standing amidst a melange of facless
and laughing politetly at a joke
that was barely funny.

I had seen her before at some other
sitting by the holiday fire
wearing an itchy sweater
that a lonley aunt must have knit
for her only niece.
She seemed nice I thought,
while I stole another look
at the slender fingers that held
the plastic cup which
at one point in time touched her lips.

My seventh slice and I hear a voice
shouting through an unseen megaphone
rousing the blood in my veins and
bidding my legs rise,
swim across the crowds
and trek the forest of strangers
who had sat nexct to me on some other
leather couch
at some other party and asked me
if I knew the time.
"Go!" It said.
And I listened.

And I was cool, and calm
and uninterested as I edged closer,
her cup now filled with melted ice
her eyes now drowning
in small talk.
Half smile met half smile.
She must have seen me
as i nudged through her
and into the bathroom to pee.

The author's comments:
Inspired by Billy Collins.

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