shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Michael Riedell


The Seventy-Second Virgin

It's hard not to think about that last one,
the very last virgin, helping all her
friends with their make-up, their hair, having fun
almost, almost forgetting this martyr's
paradise is a virgin's nightmare. She
would wish each well, walk them to the door
where they'd hug, weeping. Then she'd say, "Write me,"
like a mother until there were no more.

When Seventy-One had gone she would flop
on a couch, thumb through an old magazine
with the crossword done and wish she'd brought
a good book, a romance, or her sewing.
And she would wish someone were there to say,
"Write me," someone to say, "It will be okay."