Amanda

walks in with a flask
and a broken heart and
I ask her who did it.
“Richard”, she said, 
and asks if she can take
a drink. I take the 
flask away from her 
because it seems like
the common sense thing
to do. Amanda walks in
with a flask and an excuse
not to get in a 
monogamous relationship.
That doesn’t mean 
polyamory is bad. It just
means that I want Amanda
to have a place to put
her head. The men she
slept with, Amanda says,
told her to take a
train after the inevitable
intercourse. I say
inevitable as a way to
describe how most of
Amanda’s interactions took
place during her time 
as a streetwalker. “If I
wasn’t there in person”,
she says, “There was always
phone sex”. This is how
Amanda operated and this
is how I never wanted 
Amanda to have to operate
again. Amanda came in
with a flask and she left,
and she left, with a
wedding ring.

— Poetry
 — republished, Missouri Review
 — forthcoming, Jeremy
 — (Penguin, 2018)

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