a Ciara Shuttleworth sketch
Dog Heart... On the Dodge
Another one-time night... and morning.
The girl, maybe thirty, probably twenty-five,
swings bare legs off the queen-size motel bed,
wiggles small toes... emerald-green toenails.
Some kind of burn scar on her thigh.
Can't tell in curtains-drawn morning light.
Her name's Caprice.
Black cut-off jeans on a chair,
her glaze-bright silver shirt on the floor.
You roll over, hope she comes back to bed.
She yawns, My neighbor's double-wide
has wiring problems. Kitchen lights flicker.
You're feeling the sorrow of not being alone.
You're not pumped-up for any squabble.
Dust on the windowsill. You gaze
between curtains: cop cars at an intersection.
Wrecked Honda and a Sam's Club semi.
Cottonwood leaves on the street.
Likely a cool wind off the Dakota border.
The highway you might drive west
will be ice-thick in two weeks,
like cracked glass... jackknifed rigs.
She puts her arms around you,
hands loose... moving nice.
Up and down the hallway,
motel maids chatter in Spanish,
some still pretty, most fleshy-faced fat.
Not a tall building in the town.
You pretend to yourself
you can see the happy faces of low
distant sparse-grass hills to the north.
A jug of warm orange juice from last night
is on the chest of drawers and TV.
Her vodka's been gone for hours
She turns on the shower, full-bore hot,
turns toward you, The steam'll sexy-up the room.
Fake blue eyelashes next to the white sink.
Book of matches from The Backlot,
where she dances long weekends.
You're relieved when she says,
I don't ever eat breakfast.
There's a crinkled baggie of weak
ditch-weed pot spilling from
her dirty vanilla-white purse.
Caprice. She has a sweet, throaty
blues-rock voice, Sit on the edge of the bed.
You lean back on your elbows.
Something's languished way too long
behind her gold-flecked asphalt eyes.
You focus on the the pebbled ceiling,
the blinking aqua smoke alarm light,
feel her lips close in for a rouse-glide.
She tugs herself off you, slants to the floor,
laughs, Last time I was out a few nights,
my husband ripped all my panties,
but he's really pretty good with the kids.