You’ve spent a lot of time drinking
alone in hotel rooms, panther pacing
the arabesque patterns of carpeted floors,
designs like so many Sierpinski gaskets.
You turn the TV off and throw a
cigarette in the toilet. You talk on the
phone then set it down on the bed and
take off your clothes. Bottles clink
together when you put an empty back
in the carton and click and sigh and exhale
when you open another with a lighter.
You look out the window: Carolina,
Colorado, California, whatever. You
pace around the room, thinking of the
panther again, the one at the zoo that
followed your every move. Was it your
scent? A telepathy? You looked into its
yellow eyes. This is going to be bad.
Nathan Prince has studied writing all over Illinois. He lives and works near Chicago. Creative work has most recently appeared in Burningword Literary Journal, Subtle Fiction, Permafrost, Folly and Euphony, and he was the featured poet in Contemporary American Voices in July 2012. He is currently working on a novel.