One Night Stand

I can’t with waking yellow eyes
see who I went to bed with,
nor smell him or touch him,
when night we entered
is stranger. A plague upon
you, he wakes, and I once
watched my husband
curse on a mountain,
holding a plaque,

(did he say plaques?)

while the books I read
all titled He Held Me
missed words and were about how
I could not discover his name
until I authored them. That smell,
my goodness,
it’s the musty


smell of books (him) that sniffs
back his face and his old
unnerving display
of despair. I forgot
he’s not a danger, he’s
the man I love, and
the tock of our synchronized
clocks tick less and less
the few days we have left.

#NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 28

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).