with M.

by Daisy Bassen

I was another man’s wife for an hour last night
In the hotel lobby. You think I was a whore,
Wrong; in flats and a cardigan, pearls close to white,
Double strand, like jawless teeth at my throat. A bore
Perhaps, the roleplay of the long-married, pretense
Limited by our matching rings, his heavy gold,
Soft, scratched dull, warm from his warm hand. In your defense,
We were happy. The city full of blossoms, cold
Enough to keep them fresh, a liar’s paradise
Didn’t require the truth—sooner would a rich man
Etc, than he’d take me home, a poor device
To disguise who he loves, could love, will. Ortolan
Is no longer served. You cannot bite off its head
And swallow, open your mouth and sing its song, dead.