Erin Whitfield

What We Do After a Night of Whoring

Where Miracle Mile curves into Oracle, surely
this is where one rounds the corner.
This is where
sunrise flicks plaster snowflakes
off Frontier Motel
just as you look away.
You want to know
what we do
after a night of whoring?
We go home.

We eat eggs with salsa,
wrapped in soft tortillas.
Shred corners of twenties
between long fingers.
Pass a joint Romeo traded
for our night's wages.
We push matted hair from each other's eyes,
pour juice into tall blue glasses.
We get quiet.

I let my sequined skirt slip to the floor
for the last time
until next time.
Settle into that fat chair by the door.
Silky counts the means to her end as
condoms float from her purse --
breathless rubber clouds.
She stashes tens in a shoebox,
gonna mail it someday to
her little girl in Texas, Lucinda.

This is when hands grow smaller,
and closing eyes guarantee
we'll only wake again
when the peeling sun is long
on the hood of Romeo's custom Continental.
This room needs a tiny pot
of flawless yellow flowers
in the corner, there.


The 2River View, 4.3 (Spring 2000)