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Taking the Stud Home

Katherine wears fox
-not mink-
buys a fifth round for herself

and Mr. Half-Her-Age.
She looks ten years younger
in barroom darkness.

Later in her dim kitchen
they drink gin
and talk about her dead

husband -keep their voices down,
so not to wake her boy

Katherine, call-me-Kate,
says she answers phones
in an office;

sucks a little more gin,
eyes his body,
slides a hand along his shoulder-

firm 21 years old,
aches to wrap herself
in his smooth skin.

her hand-
shadows of pain,
time measured in wrinkles-

feels his bone and muscle;
warm, so warm.
She is too thin.

Frail months
without appetite
and now real hunger

pangs near her heart.
Kate fears her ghost
husband watches,

neck bent in shame.
Another gin, more

mild laughter,
forget the dead

She knows he thinks
he's a stud 
to seduce her

--doesn't matter--
inside she nods to her

Bottle finished,
chairs skid linoleum,
hand takes hand,

stagger the stairs
to fight the empty bed
for a night.

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