Ketchup, Bridges, Words.

Drive 272 miles. Check into hotel. Register. Listen. Smile. Nod. Meet new people. Blonde hair. I thought you were a professor. I have saké. I have pistachios. Crack one, pop one. I have greens. Touch lips in the elevator. Look for a condom. Break a condom. I have a fiancé. I am from California. I see your books. I wake up and write you a poem while you sleep. I keep those words in my copy of Civil Disobedience. Red lipstick application after five glasses of wine tells me your kindergarten teacher failed her inside the lines lesson. I keep it my own inside joke until you look in the glass. Don’t answer the phone. Go home to your roommates.

Somewhere in there you presented scholarly research on repressed trauma and memory in a novel about an American veteran in Vietnam. Historiographic metafiction. However, you couldn’t explicate that experience here in the present. You remember the seduction. You remember the unspoken implementation of eventual sexual gratification. From the moment I laid eyes on you. An older, more experienced deviant – blonde, abused, hailing from the Golden Coast – all you’d have expected from a trip to the western side of the Keystone State under the guise of collegiate scholarship? Here’s your pin, your graduation cords. Smile. Nod.

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