Manhattan Afternoon

by Ansie Baird
Featured Art: Cigarettes – Ken Schles

In April, the nice man with the nice smile
looked straight at her and said, Desire.
It’s a matter of having no desire.
He said, This must be the most delicious
pastrami sandwich I’ve ever eaten.
Come here and see these drawings.
This looks like the house I used to own.
Two dry gin martinis, up, with a twist.
What the hell, let’s share the panna cotta.
Those new earrings are just right
on you. Also, I forgot to say I’ve met
another woman. It’s only forty blocks
back to the hotel and such a lovely day,
let’s walk and window shop. There’s still
some time before you catch your train.
It’s not about you, you’re a nice person.
It’s about desire for you. I haven’t any.

Ansie Baird taught for forty years at The Buffalo Seminary and is the former editor of Earth’s Daughters. She is the author of three collections, including In Advance of All Parting (2009), The Solace of Islands (2016), and Porch Watch (forthcoming from The Foundling Press, 2019). Her work has been published in The Paris Review, The Southern Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, among others.

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