They find each other waiting in lines
for prescription refills and begin to speak
of ailments. Nothing clicks like
it once did. There are no flashing lights
or musical accompaniments.
They realize that more time is needed,
more time for the moments
that slipped away. Always the lights are low.
More creams are involved, more pills.
Still they fumble for one another,
undressing with their backs turned,
stepping first out of their shoes, creasing
shirts and pants over a chair, pausing
with the curtains drawn.
Al Ortolani’s poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, New Letters, Word Riot, and The New York Quarterly. He has four books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University, Wren’s House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas, and Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead from Aldrich Press in Torrance, California. His fifth book, Waving Mustard in Surrender, was released by New York Quarterly Books in 2014. He is an editor with The Little Balkans Review.