After You Cheated On Me
by Raymond Wachter

And supposedly regretted it, you came to read
Stephen Dunn’s “Monogamy” at my house
and we made up, made love, made peace.

When I came back inside after walking you to the street,
I had left these things: Chet Baker’s 1956 “It’s Always You”
playing, and, on the coffee tray, one last bite of scrambled egg.

The window was open, and now, I thought, we must really love
each other.  From where I sit at my desk, the breeze, and I
can hear Dunns’ birds, making a racket in a thousand thickets.

by Raymond Wachter

Sunday afternoons I sit at my desk
with the blinds hoisted up and stare
out the window into the courtyard

And wonder why it’s so hard to write
about a lost love—better to mention
priests chasing you with crucifixes,
insect eating plants who share their
name with an obscure Spanish cultist,
or an artist whose huge umbrella
sculptures blew away, killing people.

I study the photo in the wood frame:
the gold and white columns of the Hotel
Intercontinental on Lakeshore Drive,
my stiff pressed dress shirt,
her messy hair which seems so short now,
my arm around her so that my thumb just
touches the dark-blue spaghetti-
strap over her freckled shoulder.


Raymond Wachter studied creative writing and received degrees in
English from the University of Iowa and the Center for Writers at the
University of Southern Mississippi.  Wachter currently teaches in the
English Department at the University of Alabama.  His work has
appeared in
Round Magazine, Dicey Brown, and Product.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 2, Number 1
(Spring 2007)

Copyright © 2007
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.
What’s Here and What’s Not
after the last line in the Stephen Dunn poem