Friday, July 18, 2008


The pretty boy enters and the ladies behind the counter swoon. He represents an armful of unfulfilled longing. They seek vicarious fulfillment through his tall boyish smiling muscular looks. He’s their connection to their vanished youth, so any mention of his girlfriend perks them up. The big question is on their minds, but not his. He lives for Monday night football, gelling his hair, and poking his girlfriend who he’ll never marry. The ladies think he’s a sweet boy destined for picket-fence tranquility. He thinks of himself as a player … a rambling rogue that can get any large-breasted girl he wants. The ladies ask when they’ll meet his girlfriend. With an artfully practiced bashful grin, he says “next time.” They all know it won’t happen, but the ritual of collusion wouldn’t be complete without it.

whisper of scent
vase full of lilacs
a room away

by Jeffrey Winke
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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