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Kate E. Schultz

Interlude


I would be your groupie, if you'd let me:
gliding through the crowd like a cat, smug
your audience wouldn't know you
were mine; they would never see you
smile, that flicker of feeling shared
with so few. After the shows, we could go
to your bandmates' smoky apartment with friends,
and when you'd left your spot next to me on the couch
for a few hits from the shared joint, I'd stay seated,
waiting for you to return, knowing
you always would, your left side and my right
pressed together in the dent
made between us on the threadbare couch.

I would sit in church by myself
Sunday mornings, thinking of your atheism
while reciting the Nicene Creed;
I'd remember you, the night before, high
on adrenaline after your show – talking of the city,
the underground scene, playing there someday.
In my mind, the city would never be
New York, or Chicago, or Austin
but more like a painting by Picasso
or Matisse – abstract, indefinite.

After the mass, I would return
to your apartment – always yours:
fire-escape steps to your back door,
three floors above-ground; ramshackle
furniture – to slip back in bed with you,
my right ear on the left side
of your chest. We'd fit
better there, among the ruins,
not at my place with its balcony and fireplace,
paid for by my five-day, forty-hour workweeks.

Maybe that would be how we'd both know
our end would be inevitable; this would fall
apart sometime – not like the tiles cracking
in your bathroom shower, a slow ruin,
but like the last chord of a song
you'd have written for me –
without fadeout, only a break –
dissonant sound to silence.

 

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Kate E. Schultz earned an MA in English from Ohio University, where she also served as Assistant Editor of the New Ohio Review. Her work has appeared in Bayou Magazine and is forthcoming in Eclipse: A Literary Journal and Conclave: A Journal of Character.