marks the last time
I stayed at a dirty motel
in a New England state.
Our love was on the lam
while were on our way to Maine
and stopped to sleep in Vermont
just shy of New Hampshire.
The bottle of Montepulciano we split
enhanced a joke we'd made on the highway
where lyrics from the songs she'd picked
didn't yet resonate.
She snapped a shot of us laughing
in those yellowed sheets
that she'd later start to paint
though we didn't outlast the canvas.
Mount Washington was closed for the season
when we passed the entrance the next day
so I never got one of those bumper stickers
to put on the back of my truck.
The sex that had us
in that Bar Harbor bed & breakfast
was more out of habit than love
but I've learned three lessons
since those more patient days:
Shotguns are for times of peace
rifles are for times of war
and mysterious cigarette holes
in cheap, rented bedding
are made by men years later
as they finally understand