outside room six


Outside Room Six by Lynn Emmanuel

Down on my knees again, on the linoleum outside room six,
I polish it with the remnant of Grandpa’s union suit,
and once again dead Grandma Fry looks down on me
from Paradise and tell me from the balcony of wrath
I am girlhood’s one bad line of credit.

Every older girl I know is learining hot to in a car,
while here I am, eye at the keyhole, watching Raoul,
who heats my dreams with his red hair, lights up my life
with his polished brogues, groans Jesus, Jesus.
I am little and stare into the dark until the whole small

town of lust emerges. I stare with envy, I stare and stare.
Now they are having cocktails. The drinks are dim lagoons
beneath their paper parasols. The air is stung with orange,
with lemon, a dash of Clorox, a dash of bitters;
black square, white square goes the linoleum.

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