This is how it goes
It was his fourth, his fourth he told me,
no more, he said, four is it, that’s it,
but I said that after two and three, but that doesn’t
four, four is too many, and they’re all the same,
the same, he said, the same in the beginning,
the same in the end, in the disillusioned end.
They always start with sex, he said,
each one great sex, but sex, sex doesn’t last,
it dies the death of a candle, a candle burns,
burns hot and blue and finally, when the wax is gone
there’s nothing but smoke, acrid smoke
and that smoke just drifts away, so after the sex,
you’re left with money and love.
Money and love and you have to have
at least one to make it work, and let me tell you,
let me tell you, he said
you have to have at least a little money,
and a lot of love, but I never do,
I spend all my money having sex and
love is only a dull, dull shade of lust, really.
This is how it goes, he said,
scratching his gray and thin hair,
his sighs punctuated with smoke
smoke that drifted across the close and cluttered
I made to leave and I didn’t have enough money
to pay my half of the bill.
He waved his hand and said,
money, he said, I got that now,
I have no love or sex, but money I have.
And I thanked him, I drove home,
and it was late, late, I climbed into bed,
and my wife, she didn’t move.
by David LaBounty
from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 4, December 2006