Poem 20150920

with the lights off
during the video
in world history
he leans forward enough
to put his hands on
her neck
her shoulders

her sweater is heavy
cable-knit and rough
under his moving fingers
the narrator talks and talks
about the barter system
and the beginnings of

she moves her hair
and leans back
and he can touch
the skin of her neck
while he kneads her

his legs are just long enough
so that his knees press
against her
through open frame of her chair
his pants legs pressing
against the heavy skirt
that all the girls seem to wear
but it doesn’t matter

by the time the narrator has
started to talk about minted
currency his hands and her shoulders
are the same hot temperature

and when the lights come on
he slides his legs back
and she turns and whispers “thank you”
and he says “you’re welcome”
but really he’s saying “thank you” too
and they never speak of it
and it never happens again