Morning light pierces a slit
where the curtains fail to meet.
A bitter smell of stale Scotch
eddies above cigarette stubs,
a few circled with a scarlet stain.
A sense of spent frenzy
rises from a shambles
of shoes, shirts,
pants and underwear
cast aside in haste..
A blanket, nearly wholly off the bed
fails to cover the pair lying
back to back, breathing regularly
as morning musters into their lives.
On a night stand, a hotel map and menu,
torn condom wrapper and room key.
Phone b-b-r-r-r rings three times, wake-up call.
Time for work, conference meeting at nine.
A slow stretch as the man glances at
last night’s prize who still looks
pretty good in the limp light.
A little later, she will be across the table
from him when business gets underway.
But for now,
a shower, and
a call to his wife.
Jeanette Willert, former Associate Professor of English Education at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and Director of the Western New York Writing Project, served as Vice-President of the Alabama State Poetry Society. She was honored as their 2018 Poet of the Year. Her chapbook Appalachia, Amour won the Morris Chapbook Award (2017), Her poems appeared recently in Goat’s Milk, WINK and Librett and, Crosswinds Poetry journals and the 2020 Anthology of Appalachian Writer (Vol. 12). Her first poetry book, it was never Eden, will be published later