Empty Rooms

On occasion, I subject my own experience to tragedy
And I commit the most illogical sin.
I wonder what she is doing now in her empty room.
She may be listening to her radio,
Drinking a glass of wine,
Scratching at a nick that she got while shaving her leg,
Writing a letter to her ten year old daughter,
Comforting words trapped within the tangles of iron wire.

She is off work now and occasionally she can hear the bell ringing
For the girls to line up.
She decides to take a bath and relax before she goes to bed.
She sits in the bubbles and runs a soapy loofah across her arms and legs.
Leaning back in the tub she closes her eyes.
She begins to smile as she relaxes,
A short laugh escapes her lips,
And she remembers a guy trying to scrub her legs in the shower
With the loofah.
He is bent over and his butt hits the shower stop,
Sending the water through the spout.
He turns around and pulls the stop back up,
Making fun of his own big butt,
Then finishes washing her.

She lies in bed
With only half the covers over her in the warmth of the Nevada evening.
She stares at the same white wall across the empty room
And is too tired to think about tomorrow
When she shuts her eyes.

When I stop my self indulgence,
My crime of unknown experience,
I return to my immediate experience,
My futile external world crying for my contingent existence,
My own inductive perception
Where I sit in my cheap apartment
Sipping a stale home brew from a guy at work.
I look at my used furniture sagging at different angles.
I look at the same four yellow walls
That I see when I’m not at work, staring into a computer
Or the same confused faces I see every day.
I am indirectly aware of my own sickness
As I leave my senses to forget
A sitcom on TV I already seen twice before on one of four channels.
I try to forget about my aging foreign car with broken air conditioning
That I will have to drive 35 miles to work tomorrow morning in.
I look in the mirror after brushing my teeth for bed
And I say,
“Loser, what have you got to offer her.”

Theodore Haze
June 18, 2003

"Theo's Brothel Poems"