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Eleven thirty the next morning, leaving the apartment,
they walk in not-quite-awkward silence
down the dusty staircase.

Step onto the sidewalk, and Alex starts walking,
Leaving the other man behind him.

The silence is awkward now.
He’s leaving this chance lying in the dying grass behind him
And he knows it.

He changes his mind, takes a deep breath,
Gathering up leftover scraps of someone else’s confidence.
Because he would never be this brave.

He babbles like a child, “Last night was fantastic…
Here’s my phone number…”
He pulls out a battered scrap of paper, even as the confidence is
Draining, like old rainwater down the sewers.

The other man shoves it into the pocket
of his worn leather jacket.
He’s hanging back in the open doorway
to avoid the chilly breeze
tugging at their hair.
“Last night? It was one good fuck.
Don’t make it more than it was.”

And that little hopeful puppy inside of Alex
is being mercilessly kicked to the ground.
He’s not even looking at him, doesn’t care at all.

Still, he won’t give up without a fight,
even when he knows it won’t last two seconds.
Eager words escape his lips before he can stop them,
“Yeah, but like I said, if you ever—“

He’s cut off by harsh laughter from the other man,
now strutting like the king of the world
down the street.
And Alex is stunned into silence.

Kerri Zuiker – October, 2007.