In your house at the edge of town
the kitchen sink sports three faucets:
town water, well water, hot water.
The town water tastes of chorine,
the well water reeks of iron,
the hot water squeals and emits
the spirit of the former owner.
You lounge about in lounge pants
while I pack my bag for my trip
to the dismal side of the moon.
We’re too old for the raucous sex
this neighborhood likes to indulge.
We’re too timid to nail each other
to crosses spiked in the churchyard
to discipline freethinkers like us.
I’m sorry to leave you lounging
in your lounge pants, but duty
calls me to my early vocation—
freelance astronaut, unpaid.
This house of awkward proportions
feels restless, about to rip itself
from its foundations and bolt.
I wish the water were drinkable,
but tasting either cold tap
puckers me like a rotten orange.
You’ll be okay for a month or two
while I’m whirling among the stars.
I’ll return with a valuable stash
of meteorites and rare metals—
enough to finance us for years.
You’ll still be lounging in lounge pants
as if you hadn’t entertained
a hundred lovers in my absence—
flushing them all down the drain
with town or well water or maybe
scaring them to death by loosing
the hot water’s misty ghost.
William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.