Passion vs. Security

by Jerry Ratch

They blew in the doorway of the café at the French Hotel like two sparrows chasing each other. Their wings down in the dust, unheeding any danger in their hunger for each other. I knew the man who was about to become her husband, so maybe this was her last fling before the marriage. But these two literary birds were really going after one another. 

Later I saw in a magazine a brief poem this man had written about her dropped white panties lying in a pool of light on the floor beside the bed at the French Hotel. He was quite famous, and a lot older. The poem was so full of hunger for her.

She'd gone ahead with the wedding with her fiancée, the man I knew, and at the reception he made a vow that he would always support her in her literary career, and she would never have to work. There's a photo of me at the reception. A glass of champagne in my hand. Singing that Rolling Stones song in my head.