The After-Sex Song

by Jerry Ratch

You could hear her coming from a long way off

as she kept trying to catch her breath,

like she was getting the fun rattled out of her bones.


But it was laughter, laughter that kept on

filling up her belly from the inside,

and she was having trouble sitting on top of that flaming ride

and keeping her balance, and her cool,

as if her cool wasn't that important anymore.


For the first time in her life she felt she understood

the smell of a man. The smell of white tulips,

the taste of a persimmon in her mouth.

She remembered how married she felt

to him, in that moment. How close

to the earth, and ancient, and un-alone.


While he, he thought she should have come

with an owner's manual,

so he would know how to operate the equipment.

It was definitely more than he bargained for

or knew how to handle. She was too hot.


After sex he would get on his old refurbished upright piano

and always play that same song.

We came to know it as the After-Sex Song.


It was really quite lovely, and touching.

I think it made us all feel better around that building.

Yeah, I remember the After-Sex Song even now,

after all these years, whenever I hear it being played.


That haunted, lingering, lovely melody,

and that almost ragtime finish, when we hear it

at a bar or restaurant somewhere.