The Night the Painter Unpinned Her Hair
The composer working at the artist’s colony had watched her
            for a week. The night it looked as if something might happen,
                        a pool game was going in the main hall,
someone had built a fire in the fireplace, it had
            begun to rain. There was the clack, the strike
                        and the painter unpinned her hair. She
and the composer sat on the sofa, stiff, not looking
            at each other. Someone was sitting
                        between them. One of the pool balls
met a corner pocket, and she didn’t realize
            until after she pulled out her comb and
                        shook her hair what she was really saying.
Earlier that evening, when it was still sunny,
            they had walked the garden path. He had
                        opened his mouth, smiled, Would you look
at that, and when she confessed she needed her glasses,
            he said, Three white-tailed deer. And over there
                        (he pointed at three writers they both knew)
that’s three humans with a stick. She laughed.
            If it had been a date, she might have brushed
                        his arm. But they were both married
to other people, and now here they sat, someone
            between them on a sofa, not even looking
                        at each other when she unpinned her hair.
The clack, the strike. When the fight broke
            between the two guys playing pool,
                        you’d think the first blow came from the sculptor
who did nothing but work and smoke dope,
            but it was the bigger one who finally felt
                        he had been taunted enough, and when
the caretaker ran in out of nowhere to break it up,
            his hat dripping rain, everyone was surprised
                        when the caretaker began to weep about
the wife they had thought dead, not gone.
            The green felt was spattered with rain,
                        not blood. The deer had slipped in
to a pocket of trees. This is as far as the story can go.
            Someone was sitting between them.
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