Reading Faulkner in the Dark


Outstanding poetry shared by a talented writer.

Erik Rittenberry

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2am and I heard the front door slam.

She stumbled in and tossed her keys
on the counter, lit a cigarette,
and propped her long leg up
on the chair to unzip her
knee-high boots.

I was sitting in the corner
sipping whiskey
and reading
Faulkner.

The ice in the glass made a sound
as I raised it to my lips. It
stunned her and she
looked over.

“What’s the secret to this fucking life?”
I asked her as I blew smoke rings
in the dark.

She rolled her eyes
and with her hair all tangled
and an ornery smile,
shimmied her silk
panties down from under
her short black dress
and flung them
at me.

They smelt like the answer
to it all.

I fired up my last cigar and
sipped whiskey in the dark
to a Chet Baker record
I had playing lightly
in the background.

With her…

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