My girlfriend says she would like to be a fly
on the wall between two urinals.
“What would I overhear?” she asks me.
I tell her the last time a man spoke to me
above a urinal, I think he said, “How about them Bruins?”
“And what did you say in return?” she wants to know.
I say I didn’t know what to say because
I don’t know anything about hockey,
and I didn’t watch the game or even know
there was one. But I didn’t want him
to know that.
So I think I said, “Goddamn!”
because it sounded heartfelt yet noncommittal,
because he may or may not have been a Bruins fan,
and because the Bruins may or may not have won,
and because he was trying to make contact
with his gender, and if I said I didn’t see the game,
or if I said I didn’t follow hockey or don’t
give a shit about the Bruins, he would probably
feel like he hadn’t made contact. And I would feel
less of a man.
So I said, “Goddamn!” and he said
“Unbelievable!” and shook his head in approval,
or maybe it was disapproval – it was hard to tell, I tell her,
because the whole thing was more or less peripheral.
Paul Hostovsky is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently, Is That What That Is (FutureCycle Press, 2017). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net awards, and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac. Website: paulhostovsky.com