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Romance Novels by Maurice Oliver
published in Volume 10, Issue 3 on December 31st, 2003

After three months away
and the hint of an abortion
you return through my door
with a key I should have kept.
I arrive home to an apartment
comatosed by your unmistakable
scent, one which can only be
scrubbed away. The tv, which
has stood mute for weeks,
greets me with its scripted
shouts of fear and obsession.
You greet me with silence,
while you pretend to read some
trashy romance novel. With
freshly painted fingernails
and a head of spit-curls that
seem intent on suffocating your
brain, you lay on the sofa naked.
I walk right by, convinced you've
had your fill of romance, your
fill of truckers in shiny rigs
with false promises. So I walk on
into the kitchen where I bravely
rescue a beer that's been trapped
in the cold since last night.

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