lafayette wattles



caught off guard

You’re always doing that,
catching me with my
tongue hanging out
and my mind someplace else.
Sometimes I think you do it
intentionally, just to watch
me squirm. Like the day
you asked me if I loved you
and I said, “I’m here aren’t I?”
which didn’t have the effect
I was shooting for,
and you cried yourself
into the other room. Then
there was the time
you proclaimed, “I’d like
to try being on top
when we go to bed tonight.”
So I rushed to the store
and bought that bunk bed.
“Why can’t you be romantic?”
you asked. I said, “I will be,
right after the game,”
and you banged pots and pans
so loud I had to go upstairs
to hear the TV.
And let’s not forget
the time you told me, point blank,
“I’d love to go out to dinner,
maybe catch a movie.” Did I
or did I not reach into my wallet
right then and there
and give you fifty bucks? See,
maybe I should have taken
those Psych classes you took.
Maybe then I could
figure you out and know
when left means left
and when it means
I’m screwed again.

A graduate of Spalding University’s MFA program, Lafayette was recently awarded a Ucross Foundation Fellowship. His poetry has appeared in Boxcar Poetry Review, Juked, FRIGG, 13th Warrior Review, poeticdiversity, Big Toe Review, Not Just Air, and Word Riot, among others. One of Lafayette’s poems was recently chosen for the 2008 Best of the Net Anthology while another was nominated for a Pushcart.


back to issue 9

take me home