Connor, who doesn’t really interest me, made a discovery. His wife, Colleen, left a dirty note from her lover in her jeans’ pocket. Oh boy. She knows Connor does the laundry.
Where do I come in? Nowhere, really. I am not the lover! Grace is on Colleen’s side. They are friends and Grace believes that people—women especially— are entitled to happiness and adventure. Connor is so good at laundry that he flips everyone’s socks and checks everyone’s pockets.
Colleen, busted, insisted for a moment that she had written the poem as an act of self-love. Connor is not a forensic detective, but that’s clearly not Colleen’s handwriting. Grace has read the poem and said it wasn’t very pleasing aesthetically, but, hello, was it raunchy.
When I say Connor doesn’t interest me, I mean that in the nicest way possible. We say hello about 75% of the time in the grocery store, but now I know all the things he’s not doing to Colleen.
And who is the lover? This—poet? Colleen won’t tell, so he, or she, had become all of us.
Meanwhile, I’m working very hard to make this one restaurant our spot, for Grace and I. I bought cologne that purports black vanilla. I secretly borrowed a book of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poems from the library.
At our restaurant, Grace asks what I think of this whole Connor and Colleen difficulty. I want to say that I am cheered that people write love poems anymore–suicides are up. But what comes out is that it’s a real creep who writes poems to another man’s wife.
I had also ordered too much food and worried about the bill.
Grace believes that marital status does not change one’s ability to inspire a poem, and she told me.
I’m thinking about, not to mention, its pornographic nature.
“Not to mention,” Grace says, “the identity of the poet remains unknown.”
SEAN ENNIS — Sean is the author of CHASE US: Stories (Little A) and his fiction has appeared in Bending Genres, Diagram, New World Writing, X-R-A-Y and Pithead Chapel. More of his work can be found at seanennis.net.
Art by JACQUELINE STAIKOS — Jacqueline is a largely self taught contemporary artist living in Quinte West, Ontario. She has exhibited her work in several Ontario galleries including shows in Toronto, Kingston and in New York City. Her creative process involves working with inks, acrylics, oils and mixed media. She is currently working out of her home studio in Trenton, Ontario. More of her art can be viewed on her website, jstaikos.org or on Instagram as jstaikosart.