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The Recognition

Jenni Russell

The man across the table looks
over my shoulder
at a pretty young girl sitting behind us
folding silverware.

His stare is the stare of a thousand eyes
looking over my shoulder
in mirrored rooms with breasts and thongs.
And when they asked, What is her name? Or,
How much for a private dance with two girls?

They were wallets. It was just my job.

But here, in this dim Italian restaurant
with black and white baseball photographs
hung on the wall beside our booth,
our knees touching under the table
and an empty plate in front of me,
I feel the slam of metal doors
hit the concrete slab in my chest
as I check over my shoulder again
and look back at my husband.

Jenni Russell

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