Hotel Mechanics

by Jennifer Donnell

He broke his best foot
on the spare leg of his ego
and is dragging a cigar
out the right 
side corner
of his left side talking mouth
and feeling itchy
from the conversation
two doors down,
overheard above the
smoke of the television and 
his thoughts coming faster 
than the girls, 
back when he wanted them.

They converse about something
he can't track, while researching 
biochemistry for kicks
until it stops being stimulating
and he switches to quantum mechanics,
starts tinkering with his sleeve
and memorizing a theorem 
he'd figure out
if he had the time
for a deep breath,
he takes a deep breath.

Across town she draws the blinds firmly shut for the night and carefully puts on her cotton pink slippers, feeling a pain in her foot, inexplicably.