Two poems · Joy Hewitt Mann


We honeymooned in Washington, D.C. and I
stayed in a small hotel room, reading,
squinting in the poor light, sure
I looked Asian to the black maid that cleaned
the room around me. You
did monuments and government buildings,
in love with the system
of free enterprise
as you were.

At night -- no hips, no shaking -- I
thought of Bali
and how lovely it must have been
that time of year.

You can forget . . .

as you listen in your dingy room
imagining light patterning Paris leaves
on the curtained window
covering the tractor's hiss and snort
sitting on the floor, back and head resting
against the peeling wall
eyes half-closed
wishing you were brave enough for cigarettes
as the cheap phonograph beside you sings
over a needle tick . . . love and passion . . .
and passion . . . and passion . . .
until you turn the handle once again.