Nothing’s Working Out the Way
We talked about these things, the two of us
we talked music and drugs and art and
living and dying – all the
topics stemming from curiosity
and general boredom mixed with Bombay gin.
Although it was morbid, we made a top ten
We disagreed on where to rank
and drowning, but agreed on these two
If you die old, then dying in your sleep is
If you die young, it should be
Grand pronouncements came easily back
One morning last week -- it might have been
you simply slipped away before
You went to bed as usual, still
You slept alone this night, alone
Drifting off to sleep, then never woke
I don’t know how many hours had
before you were found. I couldn’t bear to
No signs of violence or self-destruction
no empty bottles of pills on the nightstand
just a half-finished mug of Guinness
Yesterday I walked past your empty
Four dumpsters were lined up in the front
filled by the cleaning crew your mother
They overflowed with things I didn’t
He watched his mother scour and scrape black
Her weary arm in steady motion
Against the clanging of porcelain on
He dreamed of café cadences he’d
This dreaming boy, his rhythms etched
A cymbal sounds when saucers hit their
As sticks rolled crisp across the snare’s taut
A griddle sizzled sausages and
A paradiddle, paradiddle stop.
He felt each rhythm underneath the
For twenty years as journeyman on
He found the grooves in jazz or rock or
He drove the South, ceaseless in his
Of homes for every roaming sixteenth
And shelter in a phrase for triplets gone
What’s Left to
He tells her he doesn’t know what to
but says something anyway.
The woman was pretty and
And they drank too much
And you know what that does to
And well, he’s human.
Humans make mistakes.
She shows no sign of anger
as she scours movie listings in the
She searches for one they haven’t
one that starts at 7 o’clock.
The new Woody Allen?
She tells him she’s in the
for a romantic comedy.
Let’s have some wine
He kisses her lightly on the
touches her shoulders.
You’re cold he
And she is.
He hands her a gray sweater,
the one she’s worn all winter
the one with the unraveling
It’s unflattering and far too
but it’s warm and goes with
Together they’ll see the film,
discuss its shortcomings
and merits over cheesecake and
how Woody’s too old for a romantic
how his love interest could be his
Even so, the acting was
the script well-written.
He’ll suggest they see it
Together they’ll sit side by side in
each in the comfort of the other’s
staring straight ahead.
Before becoming a
freelance writer, Rebecca
Nutile worked in
advertising and publishing as an editor/production
earned an MFA in Creative Writing
Diego State University where she also taught fiction and poetry
writing. Her work has
appeared in Caesura, Poetry
Motel and Circle. She lives
in Escondido, California and is at work
on her first