After Party

Egon Schiele, "Crouching Nude in Shoes and Black Stockings, Back View," watercolor, 1912, Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Her Pomeranian shot back and forth like
the white lines cut out on the coffee table

as she tucked bleached hair behind her ear
and snorted from the rolled-up bill.

She stripped at Blush, the same club
she said her father once frequented.

After gulping Vladamir and punch
from a plastic cup, she blurted,

Because of me, he doesn’t go there anymore.
I’m glad I took that away from him.

She had invited me from the bar
to her after-after-hours party,

promising coke and shrieking
how she loved gay men.

The straight guys sat at her
kitchen table playing poker

as she handed me the bill roll
saying, You’re a good listener.

I remembered how lonesome
she seemed beside me

when months later I heard
her landlord found her hanging.


JOHN FANTIN is a poet, memoirist, and English professor at Carlow University and Community College of Allegheny County. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. His memoir-in-progress, The Accordion Files, explores his northern Italian heritage, and his identity as a gay, first-generation Italian-American.


Featured image: Egon Schiele, “Crouching Nude in Shoes and Black Stockings, Back View,” watercolor, 1912, Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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