Past 30

by R. Stempel

The meter reader is at my door & I’m going to shit myself.
There’s a tungsten quality in a man

every half-moon, forces an encore but I forget how
to walk altogether when I sense an audience

It would be endearing if I were prettier, but
any upheaval will do.

He’s not convinced        the smell not yet subsided, maybe
one more lap to the washing machine & back &

it’ll settle in sebaceous so
he’ll want to shower.

The doorjamb is synapse       is one good kick from upset
outlines the meter reader in wobbly contours

resurrects what I know of men like him to be true.
The doorjamb is tight enough to pluck

a widower fantasy from its source                     & the gag’s up,
we both want an end.

A real head-scratcher he hums & I secure us into waltz
beneath fluorescents. The washer-dryer drumming in accompaniment

makes it easy to undress, save
for footwear, rubber soles drag on faux

linoleum so we giggle in hiccups                         They’re not our real bodies.