Hospitality

A timid rapping at the door

pulls my attention from

the hums and gargles

of my coffee maker.

I unbolt the lock begrudgingly,

knowing that my brooding

scowl and clenched jaw

make for a poor reception

Natalie huddles inside her

dripping rain coat,

tiny ponds and lakes

forming on the checkered

tiles beneath her.

Blots of mascara

streak twin trails

below her brown, bloodshot eyes.

I seethe at her audacity.

What gall she has

to cast her shadow on my home

again! She ate my pastrami,

hogged the covers.

That skank fucked Sam Gringle,

the building super, while I

stood gaping at the foot of the bed, unnoticed.

A vein in my neck throbs,

echoing my raging heartbeat.

My knuckles turn white,

ready to slam the door.

"Can I come in?"

She sniffles, mucus clogging

her sinuses as a creek of snot

meanders between nostrils and chapped lips.

I pause, considering.

My enemy has come under my roof

without apparent malice.

She trembles, sopping hair

knotted like the fur of a wild mutt.

Her fragile figure all but invites revenge.

I can think only to say one word.

"Welcome."