dinner for one by John Wentworth Chapin

you scared the shit out of me, knocking
on my back door like that while i washed dishes
at the sink in my ratty camo boxers
and sipped discount boxed chablis,
looking out the window at the black december night
which falls so early
that i undress for bed before i make dinner for one.

no one else comes in my back door but you,
so when i didn’t bother with clothes or modesty,
i saw your eyes narrow, wondering if anyone else
comes in my back door
since i tossed you out the front one.

because i would rather be miserable
even in my threadbare underwear
than cause conflict,
i let you in and you stood with december behind you
and me in front.

your eyes drank in the wine and the boxers and the exhaustion
and knew it was more than politeness.

i guess you were watching me through the window
down the shitty wine and pour a second glass
and adjust my balls and stroke them
as i wished for clarity.

while you fucked me bent over the kitchen counter
for the last time,
my only regret was the chablis standing between me
and remembrance
of whether i was crying while i looked out at the night.

.

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8 Comments

Filed under John Wentworth Chapin

8 responses to “dinner for one by John Wentworth Chapin

  1. Loved this one, John. It has so much story to it, so much human emotion that it reaches in and wrings empathy for the character with ease. Nice!

  2. The boxed wine, the boxers, December behind… Just loved this.

  3. like a good, strong wine – so many emotions and counterparting images and longings. the clarity and the chablis, the standing “with december behind you and me in front”, the looking out into the night.

  4. Kelly Grotke

    “knew it was more than politeness..” – that, for me, was the emotional center of that day, that place, that person

  5. well here’s the sad truth: “because i would rather be miserable even in my threadbare underwear than cause conflict”. Oh too true …

  6. John, I always adore your work, but this I love: the truth, the loneliness, the losses between these two.

    “i let you in and you stood with december behind you and me in front.”

    This line shines, and the echoes of all the other items standing between packs a wallop. Peace…

  7. Well thanks so much, folks, for all the kind words. I really do appreciate it. I am pretending this is a poem, which we all know it’s not. But it looks like one!

  8. Pingback: Week #19 – The Last Time « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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