Four Prose Poems
Kim Chinquee

Cuppa Tea

She lifted cup from saucer, talking about porterhouse dreams. Her friend waved to someone with a June-is-Dairy-Month T-shirt, got up; they hugged. The drink was off on something. The friend sat again, said sorry it was a while. Then, so the dream? Tea woman looked up like huh?

Look What Sue Can Do

An announcer dangled fish and sang about Sue. "Look what Sue can do!" Dolphins jumped and twisted. She came here for a conference. Timmy laughed as a dolphin wagged and squirmed, dancing. She watched it soar above the water. Everyone was clapping. "That was nice," the ex-husband said, after it was over. His face was dripping. His hairline was receding. There were lines around his eyes. This was the man she ran from. He was that man. He was that man who slammed her. He was the man who pushed her swollen gut into the dresser. Timmy got a towel and gave it to his father. They dried themselves and they put on hats and mittens. "What next?" the ex-husband said. She would go back to the hotel. She did not come to visit her ex-husband. The men would go to the arcade. They would play and shoot the baskets. She looked back. They were far gone, heading their own direction.

January Usual

After the fourth glass of Merlot, she told him it was over. She was sure of it, there at Motel 6. It was 30-degrees, oddly warm. In Chicago, they'd slept at the Hilton. They'd walked down Michigan, holding hands and watching mimes. Now, at Motel 6 he woke her, packing, saying he had to fix his heater. She told him she was sorry. He said he knew. She said, no, I'm really sorry. She said that a lot. He brushed her cheek, looked at her, said, Honey. He put their bags in his trunk. She got in the passengers, and he drove them back to his house where they waited for the repairman.

Oh, Baby

I took a jog, pushing on the stroller. My baby screamed, so I hushed him with a bottle. It was up and down, around, and fields were gold. Old buildings of stone reminded me of movies. Sheep baahed and I baahed back, pushing on the jogger. I was new to divorce. I could run far. I'd gone miles, finding Bourton-on-the-Water. I saw paved sidewalks, pubs. My baby woke, throwing out his bottle. Something banged. Things fell from the sky and he laughed.