May 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Three
Cynthia Ruth Lewis
Fortune Cookie

Sitting across the table from you
in a crowded, Chinese restaurant,
I made the mistake of asking you
how your trip to Alaska went and
ended up trying with all my might
to keep my eyes from crossing in
complete incredulity as you droned
on and on about the efficiency and
precision of vacuum-packing clams
and started to wonder what in God's
name possessed me to go out with
you again, and it was at the exact
moment the check blessedly arrived
that I decided to pull the old powder-
my-nose routine and slip away,
leaving you mesmerized with fond
memories of crustacean adventures
in the arctic land as I snuck out
the back and ran away from you and
that little slip of paper that warned
against rekindling old flames that
seemed to run relentlessly on their
own gas
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