The night out was like all the others,
same low-cut evening gown, same sensuous smile;
appetizer, main course, then, later, intercourse.
The difference was that I had enough.

I asked her if what I suspected were true,
and she sat stunningly beautiful in her denial.
Was she willing to indulge me in a little test
just to put my mind at ease?

She laid down willingly on the restaurant table,
“I have nothing to hide,” she said.
Her compliance almost persuaded me to stop,
but once committed, I had to continue.

I strapped her in, first ankles then wrists,
with her body at a slight incline (one end of the table
propped up by two napkin rings did the trick).
I gave her one last chance to confess.

The look in her eyes wavered slightly,
but her lips held tight to her teeth.
I placed the white linen napkin over her nose and mouth,
picked up the water pitcher and began to pour.

I recalled all the times we dated;
dinners, movies, long weekend getaways.
She gurgled and gasped as I gently drowned her,
stopping just before it was too late.

The restaurant patrons dined oblivious,
their conversations a thick ring of white noise.
I leaned over and whispered into her ear, “Just be honest.”
She coughed up fluid and shook her head.

I reapplied the wet napkin and soaked it through,
she spasmed and heaved and tugged at the straps.
The waiter came and refilled the pitcher,
he cleared his throat, “Will you be having dessert?”

We both declined and I asked for the check,
a busboy cleared our plates and moved on.
I grabbed the pitcher as she sputtered and spat,
“This is it,” I said, “I won’t ask you again.”

And as the pitcher pitched, her lips at last parted,
and out came the words I suspected all along.
“I love you, okay? I’m sorry,” she said.
I set the pitcher down. I was sorry too.

I paid the check, and as I walked out,
I passed by another couple who looked eerily familiar.
I wanted to say something but decided against it.
Sometimes we just have to learn things the hard way.


The city had a problem with its pigeon population,
ignoring their presence wasn’t enough,
they clogged alleyways and sidewalks and roosted on park benches,
action needed to be taken.

So the mayor spiked the doorways and gassed the allies,
and put scalding hot sprinklers in the park,
but the pigeons never left the city as expected,
instead they took to the sky.

They flew from rooftops in a show of solidarity,
for one bright shining moment they blocked the sun,
the sounds they made were horrendous,
and the mess–well, at last, they couldn’t be ignored.


She twerks in time
with music born
from tribal rhythms,
her lower half
a bass drum spasm,
her tongue a death-throe
lizard tail licking
blood red lips.

She claws the air
and caterwauls
a nonsense lyric,
her feral grin
mimicking each
pseudo-sexual gesture,
her eyes a glassy
shifting puppet gaze.

A pound on the door.
“Get to bed!”
her father yells.
She kills the volume,
wipes the lipstick
from her mouth,
and stares at her face
in the mirror.

“Good night,” she says,
then hits the light,
grabs her teddy bear,
her only audience,
and slips beneath
pretty pink covers,
and dreams of the day
she’ll be noticed.

Kurt Newton has been writing poetry since the 5th grade when he passed around his first poem titled “Koala Bear Underwear” to unsuspecting classmates. Their laughter was all the positive reinforcement Kurt needed to continue down the road to poetic poverty. Kurt’s writings can be found in recent issues of Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Grasslimb Journal, Vine Leaves, and in Issues 2, 3 and 12 of Empty Sink Publishing.