the best he knows in that neck of the woods
halfway betwixt their respective towns
as per the unwritten rules.
Familiar brick lines the walls.
They're seated next to a steam radiator.
He turns the control valve down
to lower the heat
since he's already sweating
after the first sip of his gin Martini.
She wonders what he's fumbling with
but doesn't ask.
His steak's getting cold.
Medium rare has that tendency.
The lines are flying
like rockets over No Man's Land
with a white tablecloth
in place of barbed wire.]
"Single Russian women
line up outside the United Nations building
with marriage lawyers, waiting for
American men to marry them for citizenship."
He carves a morsel off
from his New York Strip
pausing for emphasis.
It's less than 16 ounces
but not the first time he's been misled.
"I've considered it."
"Why didn't you?" she asks
while forking her fish to a second death.
"You knew there was a girl like me
"Fuck you," he declares
in delectable defeat
pulling the napkin from his lap.
"You win this round."
"I know," she says
while watching him retreat
to the men's room.
There's a message
from a friend
he reads in the mirror
after the urinal flushes itself.
He tips on his credit card;
feels badly about it.