Menu Switch

At the Hattie May Inn

By Katharyn Howd Machan From Issue No. 1

for Eric

We didn’t make love in the wide bed where whores

used to entertain members of the Sundance Kid’s gang,

high patterned tin ceiling, big oval mirror, window

as wide as the horns of the steers that used to be

driven right past that house on the way to be sold

and slaughtered. We didn’t kiss on the round balcony

the rich saloon owner had built for his daughter

because she read Shakespeare and wanted to dream

she was twelve-year-old Juliet calling the man

she hoped was her rose in spite of his name.

We didn’t sleep in the room where a woman

still comes as a ghost to touch sleepers’ feet

because her drunk husband was shot right below

or her dead papa couldn’t wish her goodnight

or she’s getting impatient in her garters and bows

saying Get on up, girl—it’s my turn in there now.

Fort Worth, Texas

September 2014

About Katharyn Howd Machan More From Issue No. 1