Exit Strategy on a Wednesday Night:


I don’t have a good explanation for
why I followed a strange man out of the bar
at midnight on a Wednesday,

But I did and it was good.

It was good because he wrote me a poem
on the back of a
used napkin about how you should
always eat an orange before you drink
orange juice,
so you can taste
the difference
between what is real and what is pretend.

He had a birthmark, too, a weird one it took me forever to notice
running through the left half of his
right eyebrow,
that shocked it bright white and made him
look skeptical of everything.

In a small way it was really, really romantic.
So we ran all night and kissed four blocks from his hotel
and it was warm and pink and predictable,
like playing Sunday morning records
six years later and remembering
all the words,
and then because I’m addicted to cliches I left him
under a streetlight glowing like a hatch lamp;


where all the night bugs buzzed and flailed
against the hard glass with little bops and pings
just like the two of us; slamming little exoskeletons

against a flame that loves to burn us alive;
two strangers without an exit strategy.


BIO: Pattie, a Seattle native, is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in Literature and is currently an editor at Medusa’s Laugh Press, specializing in hand-bound books. 


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