Astigmatic Escapade


        They leave work early on a lightweight Friday afternoon
        arriving at His Place which actually does sport
        etchings upon its walls as well as facsimiles
        of the French Impressionisms she so admires
        as well he knows from their overluncheon conversations

        Boats at Argenteuil and Giverny waterlilies
        squinted up at through a pair of Monet-colored eyes
        artistically liner'd and shadow'd yet lacking
        those requisite lenses for diamondbright clarity
        which in her view are too parchifying for constant wear

        As a rule removing them once she makes it safely in
        to work apprising him with heaved-freer sigh that NOW
        she's ready for get-up-and-going: an expression
        which he may have taken far too figuratively
        by getting her here all alone with him in his home
                (where the dearhearts who can't elope play)

        Of a sudden she recalls a dozen past perceptions
        of his obliquely lingering tuffetward glances
        maybe not just to check out her brand of cottage cheese
        back through contingency files her mind hastily flips
        in search of his designs to avert their being woven

        He pours for her then a glassful of raspberry cordial
        which pretty much clinches it to her way of thinking
        the chances of being doped into un- or semi-
        consciousness and caught up like a nettled butterfly
        are clear enough cut on this all-too-truant afternoon

        Along he duly comes on cue to sit down beside her
        doubtless the next stage of her inveigled enmeshment
        she peeking askance for a glimpse of the manacles
        the Miracle Whip and ostrich plumes presumably
        to be applied should she not hit on a way to get out
                (inchy-squinchy up the waterspout)

        Abruptly downing her undrunkfrom glass she announces
        she must dash back to the office before doors are locked
        to extricate a nearly overripe cantaloupe
        from the ancient lunchroom icebox or else Godknowswhat
        it might mutate into over the imminent weekend

        With raised brows he looks into her nubilous irises
        and says if such is the score she must fly away then
        lest her muskmelon go bad or her ladybugs burn
        but they will take their usual tiffin together
        come Monday she assures him even as she edges on

        Over his threshold and out of his clutches wondering
        whether he expects he has Uriah Heepily
        plucked a stillgreen pear which only wants attending to
        there on his winding stair she pops back in her contacts
        shrugs off all finespun intimations and takes herself off.


Originally published in
(Riverside, CA: Muggwart Press)
Vol. 1, No. 2, July 1990

Copyright 1990, 2004  by P. S. Ehrlich

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