Volume 8 | Issue 1 | Spring 2007
Death in the Mountains
A Few Days after Your Fiftieth Birthday Pagosa Springs
Salesman of the Quarter
Long Ago Dream of a Bad Love Affair
Because the hotel, whose door
you approached in dream, was drab,
shabby, its neon light fluttering,
you gathered this meant your heart
took no pride in this affair. The entrance
button outside seemed worn out,
malfunctioning. You pressed and pressed.
No response. But when the handsome
visitor who came up next tried it,
and was let inside at once, you did what
dreamers do, and followed him.
Alone in the big lobby, which smelled
of old cigars and rumbled with the low
profane din of old men arguing money,
you saw no immediate way to go
but sensed somehow the stranger had taken
a narrow stairway up to where she was.
You divined your way as well, up steps
to a small hallway and two doors, both
hers. You knocked on the first -- no answer.
Tried to enter, but the way was blocked
by a heavy iron bed frame (just as the bed
had blocked the way for the two of you in life).
So you went to the other door and rang
the bell. She answered, wearing a worn
silk kimono drawn up in front to hide her
nakedness. Smiling tiredly, her face
wan, lined, gray, she let you in, asked you
to stay for coffee. But from the other
room (whose door you’d tried), you heard
springs creak and caught a glimpse
of the young man from the doorway,
shirtless now, rousing from sleep in bed.
She asked you to stay longer, but you
declined. Her offer meant nothing --
just chit-chat over a cup, beside
a window, quiet talk on a gray
morning, the two of you little more
now than acquaintances, with nothing
in common. Least of all love.
Staff and Guidelines
The views expressed in The Oklahoma Review do not necessarily correspond to those of Cameron University, and the university's support of this magazine should not be seen as an endorsement of any philosophy other than faith in -- and support of -- free expression. The content of this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of The Oklahoma Review or the authors. © 2007 The Oklahoma Review