THE ONLY DIFFERENCE
A $300 bar tab
& bill for a penthouse suite
were merely a tickle in the throat
of his bank account.
I was just one of many
detonating suitcases in rooms,
kept under his name-
shrapnel of clothing,
bobby pins and makeup
exploding onto the counter tops
in those strange places that watched us
shower, have sex & sleep
and confused us for an actual couple
rather than the arrangement
of convenience we actually were.
He invited me to Buffalo that summer,
where every time we left the hotel
it felt like walking into
a waiting, open mouth.
He had just paid hundreds
for an expensive dinner & drinks,
that we didn’t even finish,
when we saw you cross the street-
in downtown Buffalo
on that hot June night.
I put my hands over my face
and cried, goosed with shame.
All that good food we had
just left on the table,
despite the times in my past
when the only difference
between you & me
was that I always managed to keep
a pair of shoes on my feet.
He turned the radio up
on his fast little car
& pretended not to notice
either of us.
After that weekend,
I never traveled with him again.
And though you and I
never made eye contact that night,
I imagine our faces turning towards each other
to express the same exact thing:
Look, I’m not sure how I got here,
but there’s been a terrible mistake.