by Robert Geise

Steve enters to security beeps
and shuffles past the counter,
shelves of rubber,
skin and expletives,
and steps into the darkness.
Men do a dance here
in these partitioned halls,
the numbered rooms
lit by strobing exit signs
and recessed ceiling spots
dim enough to blur the deepest creases on their faces
in hopes some beautiful boy
will offer reverence
and an ass
for the length of a few dollar bills.

Steve stands with attitude
in the far corner,
ignoring signals from the stoic beerbelly,
the ruddy red cap already stroking through his jeans by Booth 10.
The whiff of bleach he gets from the floor
reminds him he needs to hit the Costco
on the way home
for adult diapers,
cleansing wipes
and tubs of plain yogurt.
The thought of cultured milk and Clorox
nauseates him briefly,
but he wonders if she’d even notice it
on the way down.
“This tastes funny, Stevie.”
“It’s fine, Mother,”
as he scoops another spoonful into her mouth.
How long will this take?
He doesn’t have to wonder
as a hot blond cruises in
and looks him dead in the eye
before heading into 12
and leaving the door ajar.

Steve knows the next step.

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