Welcome to the second installment of my series of long lost poems and revisions. This one needed a lot of work, but I think the revision turned out pretty well.
Untitled (Draft from 2003)
No and don’t wait up for me tonight
I’ll be working late
And do the dishes, please
Oh, never mind
I’ll do them myself when I get home
What was I saying
Smell the coffee brewing downstairs
And in the mornings without my slippers on
The tiles so cold they sting
I tip-toe to the kitchen
To have a cup alone
Before he wakes up
Moments casual and quick moving on
Unspoken (Revision – 2012)
“No,” I say, “and don’t wait up for me tonight,
I’ll be working late.”
I’ll be with another lover.
“And do the dishes, please.
Oh, never mind…
I’ll do them myself when I get home.
Six a.m. already?
“The coffee’s brewing.”
Please don’t get up… I need to think.
“How was work,” he asks.
Like you care.
“Fine,” I say, “the usual.”
“You were out later than usual.”
Was he awake? I thought I heard him snore…
“Yes, went for drinks after.
You remember J—?”
“With the glasses?”
“That’s him,” I say.
“I brought you lunch today. You weren’t there.”
He’s angry. Finally.
“Where were you?”
Where was I? Where have you been the past three years?
“Out,” I say. “Uh…
A meeting downtown.”
Stop asking me questions!
“You’re sleeping with him?”
“Yes!” I scream. No.
Can we end this now? I’m so tired.
Why I changed what I changed… This one needed a lot of changes. The 2003 draft shifts voice halfway through from a one-sided conversation to action. I decided that the conversation is what needed to be kept, and I also wanted to show her internal monolog. I toyed first with keeping the conversations one-sided, but it wasn’t really working, so I included his bits as well. I do regret that I had to give up one of my favorite lines from the original: “tile so cold it stings,” but maybe I’ll use it in something new another time.
Does it work? What do you think?
Until next time.