21 December 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 4

Three Hours, More or Less

It all happened in Houston. We weren't ready. No gloss, no gel, no nothing

To stiletto the fine line of a proper brow. Nothing to do in this postmodern

Temple of speed walkers, takeoffs, landings, miles and miles (or so

It seems) of shopping, a couple of rib joints and some tee shirts. Not wanting

To bring up a new subject. He was waiting to connect to LA. LAnd of hot chicks.

All like this (a wave of my hand). He nodded, like one might when one wants

To avoid talking. His eyes had their measurements ready, seen them wet,

With a dripping towel round their tummy, puddles on wet tiles, men mopping

After. He offered a small miracle (who could resist a miracle). We give it go. Bang,

There they were. Bags, none lost or misdirected: our stuff. Free to spend the night

In Houston, in Texas, in its odd mystery Texas comes first. Football, women

Adoring wide receivers and tight ends and the average Joe who thirsts after

Both. The quotient, sex or otherwise, is sky-high, like the audience sucking down

Beer or whiskey or cigarettes just to make it past this last day of summer, if

The calendar is right and why would it not be. It's hot. And everybody's in hot

Dog mood and beer mood and kick the other team's ass mood, even though

We have a better chance to miss as we do to win. The other team fields second

String cheerleaders. Both teams are chanting now. Not just chanting, wailing—blaring

Blasts of despair as if the complete and utter annihilation of their future was about

To unfold. And it was. And after that, the cleaning crew made easy work of their

Time shoveling piles into neat little corners for pick up Monday next.

About the author:

Claudia Grinnell was born and raised in Germany. She now makes her home in Louisiana, where she teaches at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Her poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Exquisite Corpse, Cream City Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, Review Americana, Triplopia, Logos, Minnesota Review, Diner, Urban Spaghetti, Fine Madness, Greensboro Review, and others. Her first full-length book of poetry, Conditions Horizontal, was published by Missing Consonant Press in the fall of 2001. Ms. Grinnell was the recipient of the 2000 Southern Women Writers Emerging Poets Award. In 2003, she was a finalist in the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize Competition. In 2005, she received the Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship in poetry, and she was nominated for a Pushcart prize in the Fall of 2006. In early 2007, her second book of poetry, All Roads, was published by Luddite Kingdom Press.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "Three Hours, More or Less" ran on December 21, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

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